(NAPSI)—With the three new COVID-19 vaccines widely available, millions of Americans have been encouraged to get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, as of July 2021, 47% of the total U.S. population is now fully vaccinated and over 182 million Americans have received at least one dose. This effort has helped reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
But people with diabetes may have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, including whether they should get vaccinated and whether the vaccines are safe. If you have diabetes, here is what you need to know:
•People with diabetes should get vaccinated. About 40% of people who died from COVID-19 from February to April 2020—before COVID-19 vaccines were publicly available—had diabetes. People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes often have complications including heart disease and obesity, which means people with either type of diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing severe illness if they were to get COVID-19. One of the best ways to avoid becoming seriously sick with COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.
•The three COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people with diabetes. The available vaccines are not made from SARS-COV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, so there is no risk of getting sick with COVID-19 just from getting the vaccine. People with diabetes were included in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials across the United States and other countries, and none of the trials reported significant safety issues among study participants.
•Continue monitoring your blood glucose regularly after being vaccinated. In some individuals, the vaccine may cause possible side effects that can be similar to feeling sick, such as chills, fever, and nausea. People with diabetes should speak with their health care professional about this and how to monitor their blood glucose levels following COVID-19 vaccination.
•Caregivers should get vaccinated too. People with diabetes might have a family member or caregiver who assists them with their daily living, health care, or other needs. These family members and caregivers also need to get vaccinated so they can stay healthy, avoid exposing family members with diabetes to COVID-19 and continue being a source of support.
•Even after getting vaccinated, people still need to follow safety precautions set by public health experts, such as the CDC. For instance, the CDC states that people who are vaccinated generally no longer need to wear masks or follow social distancing. However, they do need to continue following these precautions where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including in local businesses and workplaces.
•Consider enrolling in a clinical trial. Research is still underway to answer such questions as how long the vaccines help the immune system fight the virus. Learn more about COVID-19 clinical trials and how you can play a role by visiting the COVID-19 Prevention Network: www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the CDC website at cdc.gov and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ website: www.vaccines.gov/diseases/covid.
For more information on managing diabetes, visit the NIDDK website at www.niddk.nih.gov.