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For Those with Type 2 Diabetes in California Your COVID Vaccination Time is Here!

Last updated: 3/15/21

The California Department of Public Health suggests that people with type 2 diabetes move ahead with COVID-19 vaccinations.

By Kelly Close

Starting this week, people with type 2 diabetes or other specific high-risk health conditions are eligible to register for COVID-19 vaccination in California. This group includes individuals who may not have type 2 diabetes but have a body mass index (BMI) over 40, since they are also considered to be at high risk for severe illness if infected by the virus.  

The California Department of Public Health is encouraging all those who are eligible under these expanded guidelines – in addition to all residents over the age of 65, who were previously eligible – to call or make an appointment online to be vaccinated beginning today, March 15. These new guidelines are directed at those aged 16-64, and include the following high-risk conditions:

  • Severe obesity (BMI of 40 kg/m2 or higher)

  • Type 2 diabetes with an A1C above 7.5%

  • Cancer, current with weakened immune system

  • Chronic kidney disease, must be stage 4 or 5

  • Chronic pulmonary disease, must be oxygen dependent

  • Down syndrome

  • Solid organ transplant, leading to a weakened immune system

  • Pregnancy

  • Sickle cell disease

  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (but not high blood pressure)

You may notice that people with type 1 diabetes are still not included on this latest list of eligible people, even though they may also be at risk for severe COVID-19 complications. If you have type 1 diabetes and fall into another one of these high-risk groups, we would advise you to make an appointment to be vaccinated right away.

diaTribe is urging those who have type 2 diabetes, particularly those at higher risk for heart disease, kidney disease, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), or severe hypoglycemia, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

For the millions with type 2 diabetes and an A1C over 7.5%, or those with a BMI over 40, run, don’t walk, to get vaccinated! In California alone, over one million people with type 2 diabetes now qualify and an estimated ten million now qualify under the BMI guidelines.

The California Department of Public Health recommends that people with eligible high-risk conditions sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine either through their healthcare office, a pharmacy, a community pop-up clinic, or the state’s MyTurn program. For more information, click here.

Vaccination centers and health departments are constantly adapting across the US and around the world. No matter where you live, we urge people with any type of diabetes to talk to their healthcare team and get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them. The New York Times has two helpful resources on vaccine rollout: find out if you are currently eligible for a vaccine in your county, or see how vaccine distribution is working in each state.

To learn more about the COVID vaccines, read "What You Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccines and Diabetes."

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