The COVID-19 pandemic brought forth many unknown factors and unanswered queries. With different protocols for treatment changing daily, everyone set their hope on the formulation of a vaccine against COVID. Many pharmaceutical companies worked overtime to deliver a solution with the least possible reactions to COVID vaccines. We have many alternatives and options for a COVID vaccine today. Yet, there is vaccine hesitancy since people have various doubts regarding COVID vaccine side-effects, safety and reactions.
Many people are classified as high-risk for COVID infection and show severe reactions to it that needs hospitalisation or increase chances of death. One of the reasons that qualify as high-risk is diabetes. People with both Type 1 and Type 2 or any other type of diabetes can be at risk. Let us look into the effects of COVID vaccines for people with diabetes.
Is the COVID Vaccine Safe for People with Diabetes?
The COVID vaccine for people with diabetes is not different from the COVID vaccine being administered to everyone else. The vaccine is not contraindicated for people with diabetes.
The COVID vaccine side-effects do not differ vastly in people with diabetes as compared to non-diabetic individuals. Research has confirmed that the COVID vaccine is vital for patients with diabetes as it reduces the severity of the disease.
What are the Possible Problems for a Person with Diabetes taking the COVID Vaccine?
Patients who have high blood glucose levels are often on oral or injectable medication to keep their blood sugar levels in check. Diabetes, if left unchecked, affects multiple organs in the body. To avoid this, people with diabetes may be on other medications apart from just anti-diabetic medications.
For those on other medicines, such as immunosuppressants, the COVID vaccine side-effects may be observed or the vaccine may be less effective. These COVID vaccine side-effects are not due to diabetes but due to other conditions or medications. Hence, it would be wrong to infer that the COVID vaccine for people with diabetes is unsafe.
Another perspective is that people with type-2 diabetes are often in the older age group of 65 and above. At that age, many people are also on medication for some auto-immune disorders. These medicines and not necessarily diabetes can be the cause of side-effects of COVID vaccines.
This age group is also prone to orthopaedic complaints. Usual medicines prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis maybe some kind of immunosuppressants which may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. In such a case, it is advised to consult your doctor and most likely a dose modification in your ongoing medicines can be prescribed by your doctor for the best outcome of your COVID vaccine.
If a person with diabetes contracts the COVID infection, there will be some issues with their blood sugar levels. Even those with controlled diabetes experience some changes in their blood glucose levels. However, severe fluctuations in the blood sugar levels of a person with diabetes are not part of the list of documented COVID vaccine side effects. Mild fluctuations for a day or two have been reported by some patients which usually require no extra care. In case, the fluctuations persist, your doctor can manage them well with a slight adjustment in the doses of your medicines.
What Can a Person with Diabetes Expect from the COVID-19 Vaccine?
It is safe to take the COVID vaccine for people with diabetes. But, it is important to keep an eye out for the common reactions to vaccines, usually body aches and fever. The outcome can be better if the post-vaccine precautions are known and implemented.
Before taking the vaccine, it is advisable to discuss the medical history with the treating physician. Some medicines may need dose modulation or discontinuation for a brief period before taking the vaccine.
At least a week before taking the COVID vaccine, a person with diabetes should check the blood sugar levels in a lab and report the readings to the primary care physician or diabetologist.
The routine COVID vaccine side-effects are:
- Myalgias (body ache)
- Fever for a few hours to a couple of days
- Headache for a few hours
- Muscle stiffness
- Local injection site pain
These symptoms are expected to manifest even in a person with diabetes. The same post-vaccine precautions recommended to everyone are applicable for the person with diabetes as well. Consume paracetamol for the fever and body ache and take adequate rest after taking the COVID vaccine. It is advisable to consult a doctor for the post-vaccine precautions and COVID vaccine side effects.
One important post-vaccine precaution for people with diabetes is to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. Convey the blood sugar readings to the doctor in charge of your diabetes treatment. Keeping track of the blood sugar levels and other known symptoms of diabetes is the most helpful post-vaccine precaution.
The COVID vaccine for people with diabetes is safe and vital. It reduces the risk of complications and chances of hospitalisation. COVID vaccine side-effects may be due to other medication and underlying disease conditions rather than diabetes. Following post-vaccine precautions, regularly monitoring the condition and consulting the doctor can help you reduce the anxiety and hesitancy related to Covid vaccination.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.