Kidney International Reports

COVID-19 vaccination acceptance and hesitancy in dialysis staff: First results from New York City.

Pamplona G, Sullivan T, Peter Kotanko

Broad adoption of vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is key to successfully fighting the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). When fallen ill with COVID-19, in-center hemodialysis patients are at particularly high risk for morbidity and mortality.1 , 2 Therefore, attaining high vaccination rates in both dialysis patients and staff is of utmost importance.

The New York State Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination plan calls for a phased distribution of the vaccine ( In accordance with that plan, all outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care are eligible for vaccination; this definition includes dialysis staff.

Here we report dialysis staff vaccination acceptance and hesitancy rates from 4 Renal Research Institute dialysis clinics and a home dialysis program located in New York, New York. Inoculation of the first dose was done between 13 and 21 January 2021. The staff count was 157, including full-time and part-time employees, temporary workers, and per diem staff. Staff who were pregnant or breast feeding, were on leave of absence, had contracted COVID-19 less than 90 days ago, or explicitly expressed vaccination hesitancy were not offered inoculation. Staff with a history of confirmed COVID-19 more than 90 days ago or at some unknown time in the past were offered vaccination; while in principle willing to get inoculated, these staff members wished to receive the vaccine later. Six employees (3.8%) explicitly expressed vaccination hesitancy 

About the Contributor

Dr. Peter Kotanko, MD

RRI Research Director

SVP, Corporate Research & Development

Peter Kotanko, MD is Research Director at the Renal Research Institute (RRI), New York. Prior to joining RRI, from 1997 to 2007 he served as Vice Chair of a department of internal medicine at an academic teaching hospital in Graz, Austria. Prior to moving to Graz in 1989, he worked 1982-89 at the Department of Physiology and the University Clinic of Internal Medicine, Innsbruck, Austria...