COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Should Include Type 1 Diabetes

John Kleinhans


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As advocates for people with Type 1 Diabetes, we believe it is time to stand up and be sure that the Governor and our elected officials hear us during their allocation prioritization plans of the COVID-19 vaccine. States such as California, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have already made the vaccine available to the T1D community. This summer, Connecticut led in the fight for insulin affordability, and can lead again in protecting our vulnerable community to ensure fewer hospitalizations and save lives.

COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on the diabetes community of Connecticut during this pandemic. There are over 23,000 residents of Connecticut who battle with this disease on a day to day basis. T1D never quits, and there is never a time out from dealing with the disease and its multiple side effects.

new study shows that people who get COVID-19 and have diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, have three to four times higher risk of severe illness and hospitalization. Recent research shows that even young, otherwise healthy patients with type 1 diabetes who have optimal glycemic control remain at increased risk for bad outcomes. There is also the increased likelihood that the long term effects of COVID-19 will have an even greater impact on the T1D community.

Based on these factors, we believe it is imperative that the members of the COVID-19 Advisory Committee and the Governor ensure that people with type 1 diabetes, as well as their caregivers, are designated as a high priority for receiving COVID-19 vaccines immediately.

It truly is crucial that Type 1 Diabetics be included in phase 1b because providing early access will help ensure fewer hospitalizations and possibly save lives.

The bottom line is people with T1D have poorer outcomes with COVID-19 than the general population and therefore, we are asking for them to receive access to phase 1b of the vaccine roll out.

Jon Muskrat
Executive Director
JDRF, Greater Connecticut Chapter

John Kleinhans
Advocacy Chair
JDRF, Greater Connecticut Chapter