Doctors explain why Type 1 Diabetes isn’t eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– People with type 2 diabetes are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine but not type 1. CoxHealth’s President and CEO Steve Edwards believes that should change.

“Right now in Missouri, if you are a 64-year-old, brittle diabetic, but you’re type 1, you have no prioritization to a vaccine,” said Edwards. “You’d be in the same line as a healthy 20-year-old.”

People with type 1 diabetes have an inability to produce insulin early in life and those with type 2 normally develop difficulty producing insulin later in life. According to Edwards, there are far more people who have type 2.

Dr. Linda Macgorman is an endocrinologist at CoxHealth, and explained one reason why the CDC decided to exempt type one from being eligible for the vaccine.

“The risk in type 1 is at least as high as type 2, so why didn’t it make the CDC cut? And their answer to that is type 1 is a lot less common,” said Dr. Macgorman. “That doesn’t mean their risk is lower, it just means there aren’t as many of them.”

Currently, those who are 65 and older or those with high-risk medical conditions are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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