BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPRROUD) – As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll in for the general public, what does it mean for those with underlying health conditions including diabetes?

Dr. Stephanie Coleman with Baton Rouge General says, diabetic patients should consider getting vaccinated since they are more vulnerable to getting sick.

During trials for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it was found that the vaccine does not interact with medications like insulin.

“Those who get COVID-19 or have COVID-19, their immune system begin to ramp up. Blood sugar levels will spike and their diabetes will become more out of control while they are fighting off that COVID process,” Coleman said.

According to Coleman, any vaccination can trigger glucose levels.

She wants patients to understand a change in glucose levels after the COVID-19 vaccine is not permanent.

“As your body forms an immune response your blood sugar levels can elevate temporarily. So for all of my diabetic patients out there, I would recommend you check your blood levels especially for those first two days after getting vaccinated,” she said.

More than half of a million people in Louisiana are living with diabetes, according to Baton Rouge General.

Since the start of the pandemic Coleman has seen a change in the health of diabetic patients.

Some patients are avoiding going to the doctor due to the risk of contracting the coronavirus.

“A lot of our patients with diabetes are afraid to go to their doctors appointment or go to the pharmacy to get a refill,” she said. “I am seeing a lot of diabetic patients without medication for two or three months because they afraid of going to the doctor.”

The following are eligible for the vaccine in Louisiana:

  • Persons ages 70 years or older
  • Outpatient clinic providers and clinic staff
  • Urgent care clinic providers and staff
  • Community care clinic providers and staff
  • Behavioral health clinic providers and staff
  • Dialysis providers and clients 
  • Home health service providers, direct support workers and recipients including people with disabilities over 16
  • Dental providers and staff
  • Ambulatory care providers and staff, including members of coroner, autopsy, or mortuary teams.
  • Students, residents, faculty and staff of allied health schools

More information on providers in the state can be found here.