Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief scientific and medical officer at the American Diabetes Association, discusses COVID-19 vaccinations among people with diabetes as they have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic.
Efforts to address COVID-19 in the diabetes community are based, in part, on early recognition that these individuals would be disproportionately impacted, said Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief scientific and medical officer at the American Diabetes Association.
Is the focus on how much COVID-19 has harmed those with diabetes making an impact? Are people with diabetes getting vaccinated at rates that will make a difference?
There's been a big effort to address COVID-19 in the diabetes community. That, in part, is based on some early recognition that people with diabetes have disproportionately suffered as a result of the pandemic. Whether that's a statistic, like up to 40% of the deaths associated with COVID-19 are people with diabetes, or that people with diabetes are 6 times more likely to be hospitalized, or 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19. So the American Diabetes Association has developed a series of resources for both providers but also, importantly, for people living with diabetes, where they can find out about vaccination, where they can get the latest information, what to do if they get sick, and what are the precautions they can take. The good news is that vaccination rates are rising; we're hoping to have that rise even more. And now we're focused on boosters, because people with diabetes are amongst that high risk group again, that needs to get a booster and so we're encouraging people to do that.