Joslin Diabetes Center fully supports efforts in Massachusetts and other states to move people living with type 1 diabetes up the priority list for COVID-19 vaccination.
Joslin officials have been in communication with state and federal officials to share the most current scientific data to support the request for greater prioritization.
Earlier in the pandemic, much of the data about who was at greatest risk for bad outcomes with COVID-19 came out of countries that do not have many people living with type 1 diabetes, so the information was limited mostly to type 2 diabetes.
But recent data, assembled by top national and international clinical experts, demonstrate that people with type 1 diabetes are at the same high risk of serious complications as are people with type 2 diabetes when they contract Covid-19. The data show that people with type 1 diabetes are three times more likely to experience severe COVID-19 illness and almost four times more likely to be hospitalized due to the virus.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists type 1 diabetes as a secondary co-morbidity—again based on older data. Massachusetts and other states have followed the CDC guidelines on co-morbidities. On behalf of our patients and their families, we support all efforts to move type 1 into a primary co-morbidity category in all states and prioritize those who live with type 1 diabetes. In addition, we thank our state and federal public health officials for their work thus far in getting the vaccine to the most vulnerable people and urge them to continue refining the guidelines.