Practical Guide to Vaccination in All Stages of CKD, Including Patients Treated by Dialysis or Kidney Transplantation

Am J Kidney Dis. 2020 Mar;75(3):417-425. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2019.06.014. Epub 2019 Oct 1.


Infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), including those receiving maintenance dialysis or with a kidney transplant. Although responses to vaccines are impaired in these populations, immunizations remain an important component of preventative care due to their favorable safety profiles and the high rate of infection in these patients. Most guidelines for patients with CKD focus on the importance of the hepatitis B, influenza, and pneumococcal vaccines in addition to age-appropriate immunizations. More data are needed to determine the clinical efficacy of these immunizations and others in this population and define optimal dosing and timing for administration. Studies have suggested that there may be a benefit to immunization before the onset of dialysis or transplantation because patients with early-stage CKD generally have higher rates of seroconversion. Because nephrologists often serve as primary care physicians for patients with CKD, it is important to understand the role of vaccinations in the preventive care of this patient population.

Keywords: Vaccination; chronic kidney disease (CKD); cytomegalovirus (CMV); dialysis; end-stage renal disease (ESRD); hepatitis B virus; immunization schedule; immunocompromised travelers; immunogenicity; infectious disease; influenza; kidney transplant recipient; meningococcal disease; pneumococcal disease; review; seroprotection; shingles; varicella zoster virus (VZV).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*
  • Vaccination / standards*
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control*