Folks with diabetes and weight problems must be prioritised for Covid vaccine


People with diabetes and obesity should have priority over early Covid-19 vaccination, according to metabolism doctors and Diabetes Ireland.

The Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (IrSPEN) said diabetes and obesity have emerged as significant underlying risk factors for developing serious illness from Covid-19 – and these patients should also be prioritized for continuity of treatment during the pandemic .

IrSPEN spokesperson and obesity specialist at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Professor Carel le Roux, said, “Intensive care units (ICUs) are currently filling up with many younger patients suffering from diabetes and obesity who have contracted Covid-19.

“People with severe obesity and severe type 1 and type 2 diabetes are most at risk. These patients are now not being ventilated as quickly as they were in the first wave because we understand that the reason their oxygen levels go so low has just as much to do with their underlying disease, rather than the coronavirus being the only cause.

“Diabetes and obesity cause inflammation of the small blood vessels around the lungs and other organs – and this is then exaggerated by Covid-19.

“This understanding underscores the importance of the continuity of existing treatments for patients with diabetes and obesity as part of managing the effects of the virus. It also shows the importance of vaccinating this cohort of patients to minimize hospital stay, ”he said.

Dr. Anna Clarke, Diabetes Ireland Advocacy Research Manager, said, “We now know that the poorer diabetes control, the greater the risk of serious complications from Covid-19. Medical research over the past 10 months has shown the importance of people with diabetes and obesity continuing to take their medication and making appointments, even if they are virtual. “

Continuity of care

St. Vincent’s University Hospital Consultant Surgeon and IrSPEN Member Professor Helen Heneghan said, “Metabolic Doctors, who specialize in the treatment of these disorders, agree that these patients are both for vaccination and for the continuity of the Care should be prioritized.

“For many patients with diabetes and obesity, treatments have been postponed or deprived of priority in hospital care over the past few months. The relationship between these conditions and developing a serious illness from Covid-19 means we should continue to treat patients. “

Dr. Mick Crotty, a Dublin-based general practitioner, added, “Our thinking about the virus has shifted from a disease inside the lungs to a disease that reduces the flow of blood just outside the lungs, and thus the transport of oxygen. The virus accelerates the underlying complications of diseases like diabetes and obesity.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has made us aware of the vulnerability of patients with diabetes and obesity, who should be given priority for vaccination. We should redouble our efforts to help these patients through the Covid-19 pandemic and this would benefit hospital stays and death rates. “