A Letter from Nazih Zudhi Transplant Institute
We hope that all of our patients and their families are doing well as we all head into this new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. As everyone is aware, the new Delta Strain of the COVID virus is causing a new surge in cases for both the vaccinated and un-vaccinated. We have been receiving some inquiries from our patients as to what can be done to prevent infection and what to do if you become infected and are happy to continue providing support as we go through this surge together.
Recently, we received a letter from the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute at Integris with recommendations for protection against this new strain of COVID-19. The doctors of Kidney Specialists of Central Oklahoma work very closely with those at Nazih Zuhdi and agree with everything that is stated in this letter; as such, we would like to pass this information on to our patients. Below is a transcribed version of the letter sent to us:
The intent of this letter is to share with you the current recommendations from Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute (NZTI) at Integris Baptist Medical Center.
The best way for you to be protected against COVID-19 is to continue to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and have you and all your close personal contacts including family members, friends, and co-workers vaccinated. Vaccine appointments can be made in a multitude of ways now including the COVID Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233.
The FDA has approved an emergency use authorization for both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow for third dose in immunocompromised individuals including transplant recipients. At this time, there is no authorization for an additional dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The third dose should be administered at least 28 days following the two-dose regimen. We are recommending our transplant patients receive a third dose to boost immunity to COVID-19. There will be no required documentation to receive the third vaccine. If possible, we recommend that you get the same manufacturer as you previously received, although this is not required.
What does this mean for you?
- If you have not gotten vaccinated, it is critical that you do so as soon as possible as this may give you full or partial protection.
- PLEASE make sure your family, friends, and co-workers are vaccinated as this will protect you. The only way we can all be protected is if everyone gets vaccinated. As children under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccinations, it is important to make sure that they stay safe to avoid transmitting COVID to others. Please discuss this with your pediatrician.
- Continue to wear a mask in public, avoid crowds and indoor gatherings with unvaccinated people unless everyone is masked. Continue to avoid unnecessary travel. Wash your hands frequently. Remember gathering outdoors is safer than indoors and it is safer for you if everyone you are around frequently is vaccinated.
Additional information can be found on The American Society of Transplantation website at www.myast.org/covid-19-information , this information is updated as new information or date becomes available.
Nazih Zudhi Transplant Institute Medical Staff
As stated before, the doctors and staff of Kidney Specialists of Central Oklahoma agree with and endorse everything stated in this letter. We continue to receive questions from patients as to whether or not they should receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We cannot stress enough that everyone who is able to receive this vaccination should do so as soon possible if you have not already; the Practice will not advise anyone against receiving it regardless of any pre-existing medical conditions.
Regarding booster shots, the shared opinion of the doctors at Kidney Specialists of Central Oklahoma is that any patient who is on immunosuppressants for any condition should move forward with scheduling their boosters. This recommendation is not limited to organ transplant patients, but currently applies to all patients who are being treated with immunosuppressants. This recommendation may change in the future to encompass all patients and we will let you know once that information becomes available. Please do not hesitate to call our office and consult your physician if you are questioning your eligibility for a booster.
A blog post will soon be coming featuring questions from patients and answers from our doctors pertaining to COVID-19 and kidney disease patients; please check the website frequently for this post.
If you are having difficulty scheduling vaccination appointments, there are helpful websites and phone numbers in previous blog posts on our Practice websites. As always, please call our office if you have any questions or need any assistance at 405-942-5442. Thank you and stay safe.