Type 1 Diabetes Not Considered A Condition Worthy of COVID-19 Vaccine In Massachusetts Despite CDC’s Warnings

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/02/22/type-1-diabetes-not-considered-a-condition-worthy-of-covid-19-vaccine-in-massachusetts-despite-cdcs-warnings/

Are you a diabetic?

Then you may be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in Massachusetts.

But maybe not.

It depends on what type of a diabetic you are.

Earlier this month, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced Phase II of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. The list included Type 2 diabetes, but not Type 1.

At this point, to qualify medically for the vaccine in the state, a person must be age 16 or older and have two or more of certain medical conditions, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Those conditions include: Cancer; Chronic kidney disease; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); Down Syndrome; Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant; Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kilograms per square meter or higher); Pregnancy; Sickle cell disease; Smoking; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; or Asthma (moderate-to-severe).

If someone only has one of those conditions, that person is not eligible for the vaccine yet. The state web site says such people are part of Group Four of Phase II of vaccine distribution.

However, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that both types of diabetes may make people at higher risk of dying of COVID-19.

“Having type 2 diabetes increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19,” states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Based on what we know at this time, having type 1 or gestational diabetes might increase your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”

Of the two forms of diabetes, type 2 is far more common. About 90 percent of diabetics are type 2. So what exactly is the difference? The Joslin Diabetes Center’s web site explains that.

It says that when someone has type 1 diabetes, “the body completely stops making insulin.” It adds that, “People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections (or use an insulin pump) to survive. This form of diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but can occur at any age.”

In Type 2 diabetes, according to The Joslin Diabetes Center:


The body produces insulin, but the cells don’t respond to insulin the way they should. This is called insulin resistance. In response to this insulin resistance, the pancreas should make more insulin, but in the case of type 2 diabetes, this does not happen. Because of these two problems, insulin resistance and trouble making extra insulin, there is not enough of an insulin effect to move the glucose from the blood into the cells. Type 2 diabetes is more likely to occur in people who are over the age of 40, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes, although more and more younger people, including adolescents, are developing type 2 diabetes.


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday, February 22.