What We Know About The COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine

The Coronavirus has covered the entire world with fear and uncertainty since early 2020. Its unpredictable nature has resulted in caution, but also careful curiosity towards the emerging COVID-19 vaccines. 

Due to this, we thought it would be a good idea to share some of the important information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines and how they are likely to affect people living with Type 1 diabetes.  

First and foremost, Diabetes Australia defines COVID-19 as a novel virus with symptoms including fever, sore throat, coughing, and shortness of breath. The organisation further states that the virus can be perilous for people with autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes due to weaker immunity levels.

Safety 

Regarding the safety of the vaccine, Diabetes NSW and ACT state that both vaccinations available in the country (AstraZeneca and Pfizer) have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) extensive testing protocols and are safe for adults living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute also recommends that the vaccine is safe for adults who have diabetes, as the immune response for fighting COVID-19 in people with diabetes is the same as everyone else. The institute further assures that the vaccinations have moved through multiple clinical trials, and their rapid development has been enabled by years of scientific research and supportive technologies. Furthermore, they have also been tested on people from different age groups, genders, and ethnicities with a range of health conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Symptoms

Citing the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute again, the human body does elicit an immune response towards the vaccine as it is new to the body. This immune response may involve pain at the injection site, fever or muscle aches on the day of and days following vaccination. Additionally, it is important to know that the COVID-19 vaccinations may cause blood glucose levels to increase for a few days, just like any other vaccine. The institute advises that there is no need to be alarmed by this side effect and if it does occur, simply stick to a typical sick day plan.

Availability

According to Diabetes NSWthe vaccine is being made available in three phases. In Phase 1a, it is available for frontline workers such as health, border, and quarantine workers who have high exposure to the virus. 

Phase 1b includes all adults over the age of 70 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders above 55. This phase also involves young adults with underlying medical conditions (further details to be released soon regarding this) and disabilities. 

Phase 2a includes all adults aged 50-69 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 to 54. The rest of the adult population and children (if recommended) will receive the vaccine doses in Phase 3.  

 We hope that this article provides you with some useful information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. If you would like to read more on this topic, we recommend taking a look at Diabetes Australia’s website to learn more about the entire vaccination process.