As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues in fits and starts, who gets vaccinated and when is a subject of intense debate. Health care workers, nursing home residents, and essential workers are receiving top priority, followed by those 65 and older and individuals with pre-existing health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the virus. But what about people with diabetes? Where do they fit into the vaccination schedule, and should they be prioritized over other people? Should those with type 1 diabetes receive the same place in line as those with type 2?
Those With Type 2 Diabetes – But Not Those With Type 1 – Are In Phase 1C
As reported in The Hill, diabetes advocacy groups are calling on officials to prioritize Type 1 diabetes patients in their COVID-19 vaccination scheduling, citing new research on the risks of serious complications after contracting the virus. Nineteen diabetes advocacy organizations recently sent a letter to top officials at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asking that it recommend that individuals with Type 1 diabetes be included in prioritized vaccine populations.
States are generally following the CDC’s guidelines for tiered vaccine distribution. Under those guidelines, individuals between 65 and 74-years-old and those between 16 and 64 who have underlying medical conditions should receive the vaccine in Phase 1C of the rollout. While type 2 diabetes is listed as one of the qualifying underlying medical conditions for this phase, type 1 diabetes is not.
“The new science leaves little doubt that there should be no distinction between individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus, given the common, heightened risk both groups face for the most severe health outcomes of COVID-19,” the groups said in their letter to the CDC.
The letter noted that people with Type 1 diabetes are 3.3 times more likely to develop severe COVID-19 complications and are 3.9 times more likely to be hospitalized than those without diabetes, statistics similar to those with Type 2 diabetes.
Only four states — Ohio, Delaware, Tennessee, and Virginia — consider Type 1 diabetes an underlying medical condition. Updating CDC guidelines would increase the chance that more states will add the disease to their list of prioritized vaccine recipients.
During The Pandemic, Managing Your Diabetes Is More Important Than Ever
As noted, patients with COVID-19 and diabetes typically have a more dire prognosis, most likely because of the concurring effect of multiple risk factors associated with diabetes.
If you have diabetes, effectively managing your blood sugar levels is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. Fortunately, advancements in glucose monitoring technology have made controlling your glucose levels easier than ever.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) allows those with diabetes to avoid the finger-pricking through the use of a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device.
Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.