Back to Top COVID-19 Information for Kidney Transplant Recipients - The Ottawa Hospital
 

We understand you may have some questions and concerns regarding the treatment options are available to you if you become infected with COVID-19. Which is why we’ve developed important information specific to kidney transplant patients to help keep you safe and protected against COVID-19.  

Please remember that vaccination remains your best protection against severe illness. Kidney transplant patients are eligible for a fourth dose of vaccine, and kidney transplant patients aged 60 years or older are eligible for a fifth dose of vaccine. Please see below for recommended vaccination intervals. We highly recommend you get your fourth dose have not done so already, and your fifth dose if you are eligible.

Recommended vaccination intervals:

  • Fourth dose: at least 84 days after your third dose date of administration
  • Fifth dose: Recommended at an interval of 140 days after your fourth dose date of administration, but a minimum of 84 days.
    • As per the Ontario Ministry of Health, the longer 140-day interval is recommended as it is likely to result in better immune response, higher vaccine effectiveness and longer duration of protection.

If you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, or are COVID-19 positive, please call the kidney transplant clinic as soon as possible. 
  • If your symptoms develop on the weekend and are mild, please contact the transplant clinic Monday morning. 
  • Call 911 or present to your nearest emergency department if you have the following symptoms:  
  • Severe difficulty breathing (struggling for each breath, can only speak in single words)  
  • Severe chest pain (constant tightness or crushing sensation)  
  • Feeling confused or unsure of where you are  
  • Losing consciousness  

For more information, please refer to Ontario Health’s what to do if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

Treatments 

Paxlovid 

Paxlovid Is a medication that has been shown to help prevent hospitalization in eligible high-risk patients infected with COVID-19. Some key information you need to know regarding safe and proper use of Paxlovid includes: 

  • It needs to be given within five days of the start of your COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • It has important drug interactions including Advagraf (Tacrolimus) and Cyclosporine (Neoral), so its use must be monitored very carefully by the transplant team. 
  • Your medications will need to be changed before you start taking Paxlovid. 
  • Drug level monitoring will also be required. 

If another doctor prescribes this medication, please call the Kidney Transplant Clinic immediately, before you start taking Paxlovid. You can read more about Paxlovid in the Ontario Health Paxlovid Patient Fact Sheet

Evusheld 

Evusheld is an antibody therapy used to help prevent COVID-19 infection in healthy patients who may have less protection from a vaccine, including transplant patients. Specialists at TOH are currently reaching out to eligible people to offer this preventative treatment based on the criteria outlined by Ontario Health. If you have any questions, please reach out to your oncologist or transplant teams who can refer you to the clinic for treatment.

The Ottawa Hospital is developing plans to provide Evusheld to eligible patients as it becomes available. For more information, please consult the Ontario Health Evusheld Patient Handout.

 MyChart 

The Transplant program has been providing updated information through MyChart communications.  If you have not yet signed up for MyChart, please contact the Transplant Program to sign up. 

Contact 

Kidney Transplant Program
The Ottawa Hospital
613-738-8400 Ext: 82742

Last updated on: June 10th, 2022