The Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has recently been approved for use in the US. The Moderna vaccine is likely to be approved as well. The vaccines appear to have excellent safety and efficacy, including in the subgroup of research volunteers who have diabetes.
Only a small number of vaccines are available now. They will be given first to the group prioritized by the CDC, including high-risk health care workers (to start, those working in ICUs and emergency rooms) and people living and working in nursing homes. As more vaccines are approved for use and more vaccines become available, current guidelines suggest that all 21 million healthcare workers will be vaccinated - followed (in an order not yet determined) by essential workers, people with high risk medical conditions including diabetes, and older adults.
The number of doses that will be available for people with diabetes, and the timing of their arrival are also not clear. The Berrie Center will not be administering the vaccine.
Currently the vaccine is NOT approved for children under the age of 16 years. Whether children with diabetes will be prioritized to receive the vaccine once it is approved is not known.
The situation is evolving rapidly. The Berrie Center faculty, along with a leading Columbia University epidemiologist, Dr. Will Greendyke, will host a webinar in the near future to provide information about the Covid-19 vaccine.
Please continue to protect yourself and others - wear a mask, stand 6 feet apart from others not in your immediate family, and practice hand hygiene.
Robin Goland, MD
Clinical Director, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center