COVID-19 Vaccines in Diabetes

You may have questions about these new vaccines, including when you can get them. The vaccines are safe, effective, and Vaccines in Diabetes is Important.

            It is especially important for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to receive Vaccinations for COVID- 19, because they are at increased risk for severe illness and death from the novel coronavirus, as The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Below, are details what you need to know about the vaccines.

The Vaccines Safe and Effective for People With Diabetes?

Vaccines in Diabetes

Three COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in the United States — and people with diabetes were included in all three vaccine trials. Two vaccines require two doses with a gap of either 21 days (Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine) or 28 days (Moderna vaccine). With their two doses completed, these vaccines are over 90 percent effective and received emergency use Authorization from the U.S. Food and

Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2020. A study of of 4,000 individuals, including healthcare workers and first responders, published in March 2021 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, observed that those who were fully vaccinated with either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine were 90 percent less likely to get infected with COVID-19.

The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 66 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 disease 28 days after vaccination in clinical trials around the world; in U.S. trials it was 72 percent effective, according to phase 3 clinical trials. There were no deaths or hospitalizations from COVID-19 among people vaccinated during the J&J clinical trial. It received emergency use authorization from the FDA on February 27, 2021.

C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, is director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program in Nashville, Tennessee, was part of the phase 3 trials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “We wanted to make sure we recruited a number of individuals who had the types of underlying medical conditions that can make COVID more severe,” Dr. Creech says.


That included people with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. The vaccines were well tolerated, highly efficacious, and elicited an immune response in people with underlying conditions, such as diabetes.

People with type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes participated in the Moderna clinical trial, he adds. The FDA filing from Pfizer-BioNTech says the trial included people with diabetes but does not specify among types. And the FDA filing from J&J says the trial included people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

“Humans with diabetes are going to be prioritised [for COVID-19 vaccination] because we know they’re at increased risk for disease. And they should feel confident that someone a whole lot like them was enrolled in the clinical trial so that we can say with a greater degree of certainty that they can effectively get this vaccine,” says Creech.

Gabby says that the data do not suggest the COVID-19 vaccines pose particular risk for people with diabetes. He also says there is no reason to think there would be interactions with insulin or other medications that people with diabetes might take.

Side Effects of Vaccine in People With Diabetes

In general, the most common side effects of both vaccines are pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site. Other common side effects are chills, tiredness, and headaches. Most of these side effects were mild, but some people had more severe reactions that interfered with daily activities.

For someone living with diabetes, keeping a sick-day kit with extra medications and supplies is beneficial in case you do not feel well.

Choice of Vaccine

All three of the vaccines will protect you and those around you. However, there are some differences between the vaccines that may be important to people with diabetes.

 Pfizer-BioNTechModernaJohnson & Johnson
How effective is it?95% effective at preventing COVID with symptoms 94% effective at preventing COVID with symptoms 66% effective at preventing COVID with symptoms; 85% effective against severe COVID-19 illness
Vaccine typemRNAmRNAViral vector
How many doses?2 (about 21 days apart)2 (about 28 days apart)1
How long until you’re protected?2 weeks after the second shot (~ 5 weeks total)2 weeks after the second shot (~ 6 weeks total)2 weeks after the shot

The data show that no matter which of the currently authorised vaccines you get, getting a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and important for people with diabetes. All three vaccines are highly protective against severe COVID illness and death.

The vaccine affect my blood sugar levels?

The vaccine can cause symptoms of illness that can lead to high glucose levels, it’s important to carefully monitor your blood sugar levels for 48 hours after you receive your vaccination. Stay hydrated. People with diabetes seem to be experiencing few side effects and minimal effect on blood sugar levels.

Diabetes medications affect the vaccine?

Currently there is no information available on drug interactions between the authorised COVID 19 vaccines and other medications – this has not yet been studied. However, it is not anticipated that the vaccine itself would interact with insulin or other standard diabetes medications. Note: it may be helpful to avoid injecting insulin or placing a glucose sensor or pump infusion set in your vaccine injection site for several days after vaccination.

Diabetes and other health conditions.

People with complications of diabetes (including heart disease and kidney disease) are at much higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you have other health conditions in addition to diabetes, getting the vaccine is especially important

Recovered from COVID-19 – should I still get vaccinated?

Researchers don’t know how long immunity against the virus can last after natural infection, though evidence suggests that you’re not likely to get sick with COVID again for the first 90 days. You should still get vaccinated for longer-term protection, and the CDC says that you can wait 90 days after the infection before getting your vaccine.

Vaccine can be taken with Covid-19 symptoms?

Recently tested positive for COVID-19, are currently experiencing symptoms, or were exposed to someone with COVID, please stay away from other people.

  • If you test positive for COVID, wait until you’ve recovered (as early as 14 days from infection) and up to 90 days before getting the vaccine.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID, self-isolate and get tested. 
  • If you were exposed to someone with COVID, quarantine for 14 days and monitor yourself for symptoms. Get a COVID test.
  • If you do not get sick and your test is negative, get vaccinated once your quarantine period is over.

The vaccine protect against the new variant of COVID 19?

Researchers are still studying the newest variants of COVID-19 to determine how effective current vaccines are at protecting against them. So far, much of the virus structure is unchanged in the variants and the authorised vaccines seem to produce antibodies that recognise variants of COVID-19.

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