Some Coronavirus Vaccines Require Double Shots
For complete vaccination, you need to take two coronavirus vaccine shots for some vaccines.
- Two Shots: If you choose a coronavirus vaccine that requires double shots, you can be considered fully vaccinated fourteen days post the second shot. Vaccines that come with two shots include Moderna, Covishield, and Pfizer-BioNTech.
- Single Shot: If you choose a coronavirus vaccine that requires a single shot, you can be considered fully vaccinated fourteen days post the shot.
Coronavirus And Diabetes: Type 1 & Type 2
COVID-19 poses additional concerns to people living with diabetes and requires extra planning. Uncontrolled blood glucose may increase the risk of developing severe illness from coronavirus.
We recommend refilling prescriptions and always having enough insulin on hand for at least two weeks, in the event of illness and/or quarantine. Also, be prepared with ample household items and groceries.
The American Diabetes Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remind us that people living with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with a virus. This does NOT mean a greater chance of contracting COVID-19.
The UMass Memorial Diabetes Center offers telehealth services and virtual visits as an option to in-person meetings. This will allow people to connect with our care team from the convenience of home via a secure platform using a computer or mobile device.
How Do I Get The Vaccine
You can register for the COVID-19 vaccine through the Virginia Department of Health . VDH is working with a number of institutions to provide the vaccine. You will learn where you will get the vaccine when your appointment is scheduled.
If you are a patient at VCU Health, please visit our COVID-19 vaccine page for our vaccine distribution plans.
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Managing Vaccine Side Effects Theyre Normal
Because of the mild symptoms experienced by some, it is important to stay vigilant about blood sugar levels for the first 24 to 48 hours after receiving the vaccine. These side effects are very typical to every vaccine and include fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, and injection site soreness. The symptoms may also impact blood sugar levels sending them slightly high or slightly low so check levels frequently, stay hydrated, and be familiar with your sick day routine. The mild symptoms your child may experience after the vaccine are significantly safer and more easily managed than potentially getting COVID-19 itself.
Why Are People With Diabetes At High Risk
Sood says people with diabetes are at higher risk for complications because the state of having diabetes is a state of chronic inflammation from elevated blood glucose. Inflammation, as well as high blood glucose levels, are prognostic factors for severe COVID-19 in type 2 diabetes patients, according to Sood.
Type 1 diabetes patients can also experience inflammation, making them susceptible to complications. When blood glucose levels are not controlled through exercise or diet, a person’s condition can be exacerbated. The problem is that often, there is not sufficient high-level management of diabetes,” Camillo Ricordi, MD, director of the Diabetes Research Institute, tells Verywell. “You have to be more careful of your metabolic control more than ever, especially with COVID-19.”
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Are The Vaccines Safe And Effective For People With Diabetes
People with diabetes were included in the trials of all three vaccine currently available in the United States. And they are part of studies evaluating the real-world safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received full approval from the FDA in August 2021 for people 16 and older. It was also the first to receive emergency use authorization from the FDA in December 2020, and that emergency use authorization continues for people 12 to 15 years old. The Moderna vaccine received emergency use authorization in December 2020 for people 18 years and older.
A study of 5,000 healthcare workers published in September 2021 in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were, respectively, 88.8 percent and 96.3 percent effective at preventing infection with symptoms.
Our study showed that complete vaccination with mRNA vaccines was effective in adults with more than one risk factor for severe COVID-19 in adults with obesity, hypertension, asthma, or diabetes and in adults 50 years of age or older, the studys authors write.
Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, is director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program in Nashville, Tennessee, was part of the phase 3 trials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. We wanted to make sure we recruited a number of individuals who had the types of underlying medical conditions that can make COVID more severe, Dr. Creech says.
How Diabetes Canada Helps
During the pandemic, we have adapted many of our services to support people affected by diabetes with the information, advocacy and connections they need.
- 1-800-BANTING: Offering expert personalized medical advice by Certified Diabetes Educators and guiding patients to resources and supports for medications, supplies and government programs for diabetes
- Website: Maintaining this page with key information about diabetes and COVID-19
- Videos: Broadcasting weekly videos for patients called Ask the Experts and educating healthcare providers on diabetes and COVID-19 via webinars.
- Multilingual resources: Delivering educational content in multiple languages. Urging health officials to update COVID-19 vaccine priority lists to include people with diabetes.
- Collaborating with Health Canada and other partners to ensure the security of the Canadian insulin supply.
- Continuing to advocate for fair access to diabetes medications, devices and supplies for Canadians everywhere. Virtual D-Camps for kids with type 1 diabetes and their families.
- Virtual Conferences: Delivering online content for people affected by diabetes and healthcare providers.
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When You Have High Blood Pressure
Why COVID-19 can be so serious: Its well-known that high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, makes your heart work harder and damages your arteries. This happens slowly, over years, and the damage throughout your body can lead to long-term inflammation.
All that inflammation raises your chances of having severe COVID-19 possibly because your immune system overreacts to the virus. This kicks off a dangerous response that can lead to tissue damage. This may be why COVID-19 patients with high blood pressure are more likely to suffer from pneumonia and organ failure.
How to stay safe beyond the shot: Stay in touch with your provider to make sure your blood pressure is in check. Dont delay getting the medical care you need because youre scared of going to the office, says Dr. Morrow. Be sure to ask about telehealth appointments too.
Lifestyle changes can also help lower your blood pressure and reduce chronic inflammation. These include maintaining a healthy weight, eating heart-healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and reducing stress. Deep breathing, yoga, and making time for hobbies can also help.
Temporary Screening Guidelines For Gestational Diabetes
Diabetes Canada and our health-care provider experts recently updated temporary screening guidelines for gestational diabetes during COVID-19.
You can access more information from the Canadian Journal of Diabetes here:
Watch a short video from Dr. Jennifer Yamamoto Clinical Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine & Obstetrics and Gynecology. University of Calgary.
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Should I Worry About The Delta Variant
The Delta variant of COVID-19 is the most contagious version of the virus identified so far. It is spreading quickly around the world and in the United States it has become the main form of COVID-19. Because it spreads more easily than other variants of the virus, people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are at an even higher risk of catching it. The best thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you is to get a COVID-19 vaccine and encourage others to as well.
So far, research shows that full COVID vaccination provides protection against the Delta variant. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving either two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Recently, Pfizer-BioNTech announced their plans to seek FDA approval for a third booster shot to combat data demonstrating that vaccine effectiveness decreases by roughly 30% within 6-12 months of full vaccination. However, despite this decrease in effectiveness, current vaccines are still able to protect against severe illness from COVID-19, including the delta variant. These preparations by Pfizer are merely precautionary, with a joint statement from the FDA and CDC assuring that those who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.
What Side Effects Of The Vaccine Should People With Diabetes Pay Attention To
In general, the most common side effects of both vaccines are pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site. Other common side effects are chills, tiredness, and headaches. Most of these side effects are mild, but some people had more severe reactions that interfered with daily activities.
Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines carry a warning label for increased risk for inflammation of the heart called myocarditis. In an analysis published in September 2021 in NEJM researchers reported the Pfizer vaccine had a rare, but increased risk for myocarditis. This is more common in young men, according to two studies published in October 6, 2021, in NEJM. However, infection with COVID-19 carries an even greater risk of myocarditis.
Gabbay says side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines are similar to those of flu vaccines. For someone living with diabetes, keeping a sick-day kit with extra medications and supplies is beneficial in case you do not feel well after inoculation.
Learn more about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for people with type 1 and type 2 in Diabetes Daily’s article COVID-19 Vaccine for People With Diabetes: What’s Going On?
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Is It Harder To Treat Someone With Diabetes If You Get Covid
Patients with diabetes and COVID-19 may experience changes in their blood sugars and medication requirements and benefit from more frequent monitoring of their blood glucose values. Patients may experience higher blood sugars with infections in general, and this certainly applies to COVID-19 as well, so close contact with your health care team is needed to make sure you receive the appropriate treatments or insulin doses.
What About Kids Ages Four And Under
In September, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said to expect data on the COVID-19 vaccine for ages two to four before the end of the year. The company is also currently running trials for ages six months to two years, but have not yet announced an expected timeline for this age group.
Until full approval comes, continue to practice safe measures that protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19, including doing your best to keep tight control of blood sugar levels. As Dr. DeSalvo shared with us, for those who have not been able to get the vaccine, it remains important to wear a mask at school, work, and any indoor event.
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How Will The Vaccine Affect My Blood Sugar Levels
Because the vaccine can cause symptoms of illness that can lead to high glucose levels, its important to carefully monitor your blood sugar levels for 48 hours after you receive your vaccination. Stay hydrated, and make sure to have your sick day plan ready in case you feel ill. So far, people with diabetes seem to be experiencing few side effects and minimal effect on blood sugar levels.
Do Diabetes Medications Affect The Vaccine
At this time there is no information available on drug interactions between the authorized COVID vaccines and other medications this has not yet been studied. However, it is not anticipated that the vaccine itself would interact with insulin or other standard diabetes medications. Note: it may be helpful to avoid injecting insulin or placing a glucose sensor or pump infusion set in your vaccine injection site for several days after vaccination.
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Seek Care When Needed
- Call your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19. Discuss steps you can take to manage your health and risks. If you need emergency help, call 911 right away.
- Do not delay getting care for your medical condition because of COVID-19. Emergency departments, urgent care, clinics, and your health provider or doctor have infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care.
How Will Any Side Effects Be Monitored If I Have Questions After I Receive The Covid
The CDC has developed a smartphone app called V-safe. It’s an after-vaccination health checker available to people who choose to use it after receiving COVID-19 vaccines. It uses text messaging and web surveys from the CDC to check in with vaccine recipients for health problems following vaccination. The system also provides telephone follow up to anyone who reports medically significant adverse events. Learn more about V-safe.
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What Should I Expect At My Vaccine Appointment
When you get your COVID vaccine, youll receive a paper card that says which vaccine you received, and when and where you received it. Youll also get a fact sheet with more information about the vaccine, its benefits, and its side effects. After you get your injection, youll be asked to stay on-site for a short period of time so that healthcare professionals can monitor your bodys reaction.
Why Vaccines Are Important For You
- Diabetes, even if well managed, can make it harder for your immune system to fight infections, so you may be at risk for more serious complications from an illness compared to people without diabetes.
- Some illnesses, like influenza, can raise your blood glucose to dangerously high levels.
- People with diabetes have higher rates of hepatitis B than the rest of the population. Outbreaks of hepatitis B associated with blood glucose monitoring procedures have happened among people with diabetes.
- People with diabetes are at increased risk for death from pneumonia , bacteremia and meningitis .
Answer a few questions to find out which vaccines you may need. Take your customized printout to your next medical appointment.
There may be other vaccines recommended for you based on your lifestyle, travel habits, and other factors. Talk to your healthcare professional about which vaccines are right for you.
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What You Need To Know
- People of any age with the conditions listed below are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.
- COVID-19 vaccines and preventive measures for COVID-19 are important, especially if you are older or have multiple or severe health conditions including those on this list.
- Approved and authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and should be administered to people at higher risk including people with underlying medical conditions. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for people with underlying medical conditions.
- Some immunocompromised people may be eligible for a COVID-19 additional primary dose.
- This list does not include all possible conditions that place you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you have a condition not included here, talk to your doctor about how best to manage your condition and protect yourself from COVID-19.
Diabetes Sick Day Guidelines
When youre sick, even with a simple cold, blood glucose may rise. It’s always important to follow these diabetes sick day guidelines.
When sick with a viral infection, people with diabetes do face an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis , commonly experienced by people with type 1 diabetes. Learn the signs and be sure to talk with your diabetes care team about when to check for ketones and when to contact your doctor if you have them.
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Can I Get Covid From The Vaccine
No. The vaccines do not contain the live virus, so they cannot infect you with COVID-19. Side effects that appear after you receive the vaccine occur because your immune system is activating and building antibodies they are not signs of infection.
After vaccination it takes time for your body to develop full immunity to the virus, so it is still possible to get infected with COVID in the days before or after your vaccination. This does not mean the vaccine did not work rather, it means that your immune system did not have enough time to build full immunity from the vaccine before coming into contact with the virus.
The Vaccine And Side Effects
Rigorous trials have not identified a single case of severe negative outcomes related to the newly approved Pfizer vaccine. In the trial of 4,647 children that led to FDA authorization, there were five severe health outcomes recorded, and not a single was attributed to the vaccine.
If youve already had the vaccine yourself, you probably know that the shot can come with unpleasant side effects. Most children will report no side effects. Among those that did feel bad, the most commonly experienced minor side effects were fatigue, headache, and muscle pain.
While post-marketing safety and efficacy studies will continue, at the moment there is absolutely no evidence that the vaccines cause any significant issues in children.
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What Can I Do Now To Protect Myself From Getting Covid
Everyone with diabetes should follow the general CDC guidelines to protect themselves.
The American Diabetes Association recommends people with diabetes to take additional precautions, including:
Keep your blood sugar under control.
Get glucagon and ketone strips so youre prepared in case of lows and highs.
Have enough medication, household items, and groceries for 14 days in case you get sick or have to quarantine.
Make sure you have the phone number of your healthcare provider and pharmacy available.