Abdala vaccine benefits hemodialysis patients

Odalys Abreu Hechavarría, a hemodialysis patient, who has already received the first dose of the Cuban immunogen Abdala and awaits, this week, the administration of the second, feels satisfaction and greater tranquility in the battle against COVID-19.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- "I am very happy and grateful that the country has prioritized us and the care I receive at the Hospital. Now, I have a little more peace of mind in the face of the danger of the disease," the patient from Manatí says, who for a little more than three years has been a beneficiary of renal replacement therapy methods through hemodialysis.

Like Odalys, another 123 people belonging to this risk group, one of the most prone to an unfavorable evolution of the disease, were immunized with “Abdala" in the service set up at the Ernesto Guevara Hospital and the similar ones, in the municipalities of Puerto Padre and Amancio.

Dr. Israel Cabrera Morales, a nephrologist and head of this service at the largest health institution in the province, explained that 56 patients received the antidote there, in a day that was reported without adverse effects to the vaccine, which has a proven efficacy over 92 percent.

In the next few days, he added, "we will continue the intervention with people undergoing hemodialysis and we will add the first dose for six patients who were waiting for a PCR result, as part of a focus control, so they were not immunized."

Later, he pointed out, another 11 patients will receive Soberana Plus, a vaccine candidate that increases the immunity of convalescents with a single dose.

Dr. Maité Rúa Del Toro, a pharmacologist at the forefront of this process at the "Guevara", highlighted that nephropathy patients are inoculated on alternate days to hemodialysis treatment, and are subject to a rigorous health protocol with an hour of observation and intensive surveillance in which they check, every 30 minutes, the heart and respiratory rates, as well as the temperature.

Likewise, Cabrera Morales highlighted the daily actions to protect this group with high vulnerability to the COVID-19, hence the active investigation before starting treatment, passing through containment barriers, disinfection of cubicles, and artificial kidneys after the conclusion of each work shift.

"The measures at home and during the transfer to the hemodialysis service have been explained to the families. Besides, we detail the symptoms and emphasize that being such a vulnerable group they must take care of each measure because the fact of being vaccinated does not prevent them from acquiring the disease. We try our best to avoid contagion to complete the vaccination with its three doses."

In Las Tunas, a total of 124 patients with dialysis treatment have already received the first dose of Abdala, a vaccine that has also reached the shoulders of more than three hundred people considered within risk groups such as long-term residents in the Clodomira Acosta Ferrals Psychiatric Hospital and the two Psycho Pedagogical Medical Centers of the province.

This week, the immunization of the 473 grandparents with a permanent stay in the nine nursing homes of the province is expected to begin, who a few months ago received two administrations of Biomodulin T for the stimulation of the immune system, among other benefits.