With this series we will bring you the latest news in stigma and society. This week we cover COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the impact of COVID-19 on people with diabetes.
People with type 1 diabetes were excluded from Phase 1c of the CDC’s vaccine distribution plan despite evidence that people with type 1 diabetes are similarly at risk for severe COVID-19 complications than people with type 2. This differs from the U.K. vaccine distribution plan which prioritizes both people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Why it matters: Research shows that people with diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people without diabetes. Type 2 diabetes should be prioritized because it is much more common and disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities. However, the risks of COVID-19 for people with type 1 diabetes should not be ignored in vaccine distribution.
What you can do: If you want all people with diabetes to be included in Phase 1c of the COVID-19 distribution plan, send a letter to your state representatives through the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition.
COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on people with diabetes. The ADA survey demonstrates that many people with diabetes could not afford their medications and/or devices, delayed healthcare to avoid contracting COVID-19, and had less access to healthy foods.
Why it matters: Not only are people with diabetes at a higher risk for COVID-19 health complications, they have also been impacted by the economic strain and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. This data helps inform health policy interventions to alleviate stressors on the diabetes community.