Immunization Awareness
Vaccines help protect people from diseases that could possibly be deadly like the flu, tetanus, hepatitis B, pneumonia, and diphtheria. Vaccines are usually given through a shot (injection). They contain dead or weakened germs that help to boost your body's immune system. The germs in vaccines help your body create antibodies to fight off real infections. Immunization is the act of getting a vaccine and becoming immune to a certain disease.

As a dialysis patient, your immune system is weakened, and you have a greater chance of getting an infection than people who have healthy kidneys. That is why it is so important for you to talk to your doctor about the following vaccines. 

  • Influenza vaccine: protects against the seasonal flu.
  • Tdap vaccine: protects against whooping cough and tetanus.
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines: protect against pneumonia.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine: a series of injections that protects against hepatitis B.
  • Zoster vaccine: protects individuals 60 years old or older against shingles
  • MMR vaccine: protects against the measles, mumps, and rubella.

Sources: National Kidney Foundation, 2019; CDC, 2016
The Adult Vaccination Tracker and Guide
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases created the Adult Vaccination Tracker and Guide to help adult patients determine which vaccines they may need and encourages them to speak with their doctor or healthcare provider about these vaccinations 
Sources: National Kidney Foundation, 2019; CDC, 2016.
Disease Management
Disease management is an approach to healthcare that helps patients learn how to manage a chronic disease. It helps people keep a healthy lifestyle, control disease symptoms, and reduce hospital stays. Disease management also helps doctors identify  people who are in early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD). This can help doctors slow down a patient’s progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). 

Dialysis Patients should work with healthcare providers to:

  • Maintain their dry weight: Dry weight is a person’s regular weight without any extra fluid. The extra fluid can put stress on the body and its organs. Kidney patients should try to keep a normal dry weight by limiting their fluids and following a kidney-friendly diet. ESRD patients should avoid foods that are high in sodium (salt), potassium (bananas, oranges, tomatoes, and beans), and phosphorus (dairy, whole grains, soft drinks, beer, and certain green vegetables. . 

Dialysis patients should:
  • Listen and understand their assigned dialysis treatment
  • Tell their dialysis nurse, doctor, or technician when they feel any pain or discomfort during their dialysis treatment
  • Work with the dialysis center's doctor, dietitian, and social worker to make sure all their needs are being met

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, 2017; National Kidney Foundation, 2019; Mantravadi, 2016
1.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, May 2). Vaccination of Adults with Renal Disease | CDC. Retrieved from
2.Cleveland Clinic. (2019). Renal Diet Biasics. Retrieved from
3.Mantravadi, S. (2016). Key Components of the Healthcare System: Disease Management and Case Management. Retrieved from
4.National Kidney Foundation. (2019, August 19). Which Vaccinations Do I Need? Retrieved from
5.National Kidney Foundation. (2019, June 11). What Is Dry Weight? Retrieved from
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