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VERIFY: COVID-19 vaccine considered safe and highly recommended for diabetics

Experts agree the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for people with diabetes and significantly reduces their risk of severe illness and death from the virus.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Is it safe for you to get a COVID-19 vaccine, if you have {insert chronic condition}? It is a common question the VERIFY team gets, week after week, even after vaccines opened to everyone 16 and older.


WFMY News 2 viewer Gerald reached out and said he had yet to talk to his doctor. He asked, "I have diabetes. How will {the COVID-19 vaccine} affect that? I feel it may have a negative impact on me health-wise."



A study on this very topic, published in the NIH in February 2021, concluded patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus are at a high risk of poor prognosis with COVID-19 and should get priority vaccination (as they did in NC during the initial phased rollout). 

However, the study noted more research is necessary. It explains prior studies have shown an impaired antibody response to the influenza and hepatitis B vaccines in diabetics. But, it affirmed vaccine advancements have improved that response with no- to- mild side effects in patients studied. So, could getting the vaccine be harmful to viewer Gerald's health?

RELATED: VERIFY: You can take a pain reliever after your COVID-19 vaccine, but hold off beforehand

Infectious disease physician Chris Ohl said, "The answer is, really, no. Getting vaccinated for COVID-19...won't make your diabetes worse. It won't make it harder to control, and it won't make it more likely that you'll have low blood sugar if you're on insulin. People with diabetes have a lot higher risk of having severe COVID (illness), being hospitalized or even dying, so it's a great reason to get vaccinated and be protected." 

RELATED: Is it safe? Here are your top COVID-19 vaccine questions - answered


Of course, everyone's health history is different, so Gerald might still want to talk to his doctor -- especially if he has a history of allergic reactions to vaccines. But, we've concluded the answer to his question is no. The COVID vaccine should not harm and, rather, should help him and others with diabetes stay protected.

Do you have a VERIFY inquiry? Submit a post, screen shot or selfie video to Meghann Mollerus via:

Facebook: Meghann Mollerus News

E-mail: Mmollerus@wfmy.com

Twitter: @MeghannMollerus

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