DaVita®, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, announced that the company has exceeded its goal of vaccinating 90 percent of its dialysis patients for influenza and pneumonia this flu season. As of Nov. 18, DaVita had vaccinated 91.6 percent of its patients for influenza and 92.3 percent of its patients for pneumonia. DaVita recognizes that vaccinations are critical for protection against viruses in kidney patients and therefore offers the vaccines at no cost to patients. To reach the 90 percent goal, DaVita teammates and attending physicians worked together to educate patients on the importance of getting vaccinated. "I am grateful for the information my caregivers provided about vaccinations," said DaVita patient Joe Garcia at DaVita Beeville Renal Center in Beeville, Texas. "Since I also work as a school bus driver, it’s important for me to stay healthy and now I understand how getting vaccinated plays a vital role in my health." Studies have shown that high vaccination rates relate directly to fewer hospitalizations, which can lead to a better quality of life for dialysis patients. To combat the spread of the seasonal flu virus DaVita provides flu vaccines for its patients and teammates. "Seasonal flu can be especially harmful to patients with kidney disease because of their increased risk of serious complications," explained Dr. Allen R. Nissenson, DaVita's chief medical officer. "At DaVita we are committed to improving quality of life for patients, which includes education on the importance of vaccinations." DaVita also encourages anyone who has physical contact with a dialysis patient to receive a flu vaccination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February.