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Important Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Your Health
Important Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Your Health
The health and safety of our patients, colleagues and partners is our main priority. Fresenius Kidney Care is dedicated to providing you with the highest-quality care and support in every circumstance. The coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has been changing quickly, and we will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.
COVID-19 vaccines are critical for controlling the pandemic. Making an informed choice about vaccination against the coronavirus is one of the most important decisions you will make. Before receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, you should meet and discuss with your doctor about your suitability to receive a vaccine and any questions you may have.
Are you a Fresenius Kidney Care patient?
Speak to your Care Team about the vaccination program in your local area.
What is a vaccine?
Many vaccines use weakened or inactivated virus or bacteria into the body to trigger an immune response against specific infections. The immune system produces antibodies, exactly like it would if it was exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, the body develops immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.
Unlike most medicines, which treat or cure diseases, vaccines prevent them. This is what makes vaccines such powerful medicine.
What is a COVID-19 vaccine?
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has spikes of protein on each viral particle. These spike proteins allow the virus to attach to cells and cause disease.
The COVID-19 vaccine teaches the immune system how to recognize these spike proteins as foreign and fight the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Why is it important to get vaccinated?
The vaccine may lower the chances of getting COVID-19 if you encounter the coronavirus. COVID-19 vaccination may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Can COVID-19 vaccines give you COVID-19?
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live virus or any virus that can replicate, therefore it cannot transmit the virus to you. The vaccines are designed to teach our immune system to recognize and fight off the virus that causes COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccine was developed so quickly, is it safe?
In public health emergencies, like the global COVID-19 pandemic, the development process may be sped up and still meet rigorous and science-based standards for quality, safety, and effectiveness. COVID-19 vaccine began in January 2020, shortly after the virus’s genome sequence was identified and shared globally among international governments, scientists from universities, non-profit organizations, and pharmaceutical companies.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine more dangerous than the virus itself?
No. COVID-19 vaccine delivers instructions to cells to make a protein and never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is located. The vaccine causes a natural response in the body to develop immunity to the disease.
Are there any side effects after vaccination?
It is not uncommon to experience side effects from vaccines. The immune system will start fighting the proteins after vaccinations, which may lead to typical symptoms, such as:
On the arm where you got the vaccine injection
Pain / soreness at the injection site
Throughout the rest of your body
Most side effects of standard vaccination are temporary and should resolve within a few days. In some ways, these mild to moderate symptoms are signs that your immune system is responding to the vaccine and working to build immunity.
Please speak to your doctor for more information on side effects.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine cause an allergic reaction?
Allergic reactions, although rare, could happen within minutes after the vaccination. You might need to stay on site for about 15 to 30 minutes or longer for close observation. In case of an allergic reaction, the medical staff will take emergency steps to make sure you are safe.
Certain types of vaccines may not be suitable for persons with history of allergic reactions. Before you get vaccinated, inform the medical staff if you have had any serious allergic reactions.
After COVID-19 vaccination, do I need still to practice prevention?
There is still not enough evidence on how long you are protected after the vaccination. Experts continue to collect evidence about the protection provided by the vaccination to estimate the length of immunity.
Continuing to practice prevention like wearing a mask, regular hand hygiene, and social distancing are important for 2 reasons:
Development of immunity needs time and may not be 100%.
At this point in time we do not know if vaccination will prevent virus shedding, so vaccinated persons, while protected from COVID-19, may still spread the disease.
This is also true for people who were infected and recovered from COVID-19.
Do I still need to be vaccinated if I already had COVID-19?
Currently, there is little evidence on the length of acquired immunity for people who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19. Therefore, it is also recommended for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to get vaccinated.
Please speak to your doctor for more information about getting the vaccine if you’ve already had COVID-19.
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It is important that you continue to practice preventive measures to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus and lowering the chances of getting sick with COVID-19. The interventions shown below will continue to be important to control the pandemic, even after vaccination campaigns have started.
Avoiding Group Gatherings
Frequent Hand Washing
Wash your hands often
Use soap and water and wash for 40-60 seconds. If soap is not available, use a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol for 20-30 seconds.
Stay home as much as possible
The best way to stay safe if to avoid being around people who are sick with COVID-19 or carriers of the COVID-19 virus, but not showing any symptoms. If you must go out for dialysis or medical appointments, always follow local guidelines for social distancing and stay at least 2 arms' length away from other people.
Be on the lookout for symptoms and complications of COVID-19
People with COVID-19 can show a wide range of mild to severe symptoms, which typically appear between 2 – 14 days after exposure. Mild symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Fever (body temperature at or above 38.0C)
Repeated shaking with chills
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
If you experience any combination of these symptoms or feel unwell, contact your doctor or care team for further instructions and to get the assistance you need. If you are at high risk for COVID-19 or related complications, be aware of more serious warning signs as well:
Bluish lips or face
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or difficulty to gain energy after sleep
What to do about dialysis treatment if you get sick
Your health is our top priority. As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, we are taking additional steps in our dialysis centers to protect you and your care team.
It is very important that you continue to get dialysis treatment. Skipping dialysis treatments can cause a dangerous buildup of toxins, waste, and excess fluid in your body. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you or your care partner should notify your care team immediately for instructions on continuing care.
If you have any symptoms of being sick, notify your care team immediately, before your appointment. Your care team will give you exact instructions on next steps and how to continue treatment.
How to manage anxiety in uncertain times
The situation around COVID-19 is changing very often. If you’re feeling anxious, worried, depressed, or low energy, you are not alone. For many people, schedules have been disrupted, routines are changing, and talk about coronavirus is everywhere. To help manage anxiety, stress, and coping, consider these suggestions:
Keep your routine as much as possible– this includes keeping up with your dialysis treatment schedules and care team appointments. Getting enough dialysis and staying for your full treatment time is very important to your health.
Limit your COVID-19 news time– surrounded by newspapers, news on TV, internet feeds, and social media, it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the news on coronavirus. Staying informed is good, though a constant stream of stressful news can impact your emotional health. Choose when you’re going to look at news, pick reliable sources, and put a limit on your viewing time.
Recognize what anxiety or depression look like for you- everyone copes with stress differently. Learn to recognize how your emotions affect you – constant worry, headache, nausea, tiredness – and find ways to relieve your stress.
Find ways to care for your wellbeing– it’s important to take care of yourself while dealing with feelings of depression or anxiety and figuring out what helps you cope. That may mean talking things out with a loved one, taking a walk, or focusing only on the present.