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Diabetes and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Diabetes and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on the diabetes community. A new study shows that people who get COVID and have diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, have three to four times higher risk of severe illness and hospitalization. The good news is that COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out to the public, giving patients a chance to protect themselves. If you or a loved one has diabetes, you may have some questions as you plan to get vaccinated.

Were people with diabetes included in the vaccine trials?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is the fastest vaccine developed in the history of vaccines. But, that doesn’t mean researchers bypassed safety protocols or performed inadequate testing. Clinical trials tested their safety in adults of all ages, races and ethnicities, as well as chronic health conditions.

  • The Pfizer-BioNtech trial included 3,150 people with diabetes (8.4% of trial participants).
  • The Moderna trial included 2,858 people with type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (9.4% of trial participants).

Do diabetes medications affect the vaccine?

At this time there is no information available on drug interactions between either authorized COVID vaccine and other medications, but it’s not anticipated that the vaccine itself would interact with insulin or other standard diabetes medications. One thing to consider: it may be helpful to avoid injecting insulin in your vaccine injection site for several days after vaccination.

How will the vaccine affect my blood sugar levels?

Because the vaccine can cause symptoms of illness that can lead to high glucose levels, be sure to carefully monitor your blood sugar levels for 48 hours after you receive your vaccination. It’s also important to stay hydrated. So far, people with diabetes seem to be experiencing few side effects and minimal effect on blood sugar levels.

If you have concerns or more in-depth questions, talk to your primary care provider, and for more COVID-19 information, visit our COVID-19 Information page.