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ADPH: Diabetics at higher risk of COVID hospitalizations, many qualify for booster shot

Those 18 and up with diabetes qualify for the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot. ADPH recommends...
Those 18 and up with diabetes qualify for the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot. ADPH recommends speaking with your doctor.
Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 5:37 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health said people with diabetes continue to be at a heightened risk of serious COVID-19 complications.

“We know that diabetes has contributed potentially to 25% or more of our hospitalizations in persons with COVID disease,” Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH said.

Diabetes is just one of the underlying health conditions that qualify many people to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot.

You may already be aware that those 65 years and older qualify for the booster, but some 18 and up can also receive the third shot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those in long term care settings, who live or work in “high-risk settings” or have underlying health conditions – such as diabetes – qualify.

“However, that risk is likely not as high as it would be for adults aged 50 years and older who have underlying medical conditions,” the CDC reports.

“If we think about diabetes, more so than just really an alteration of the blood sugar, but diabetes really is a process that can also affect the immune system,” Landers said.

The pediatrician said this is something diabetics should consider regarding COVID-19, and even other diseases such as the flu and tuberculosis.

The doctor believes the decision to receive the booster shot is certainly on a case-by-case basis.

“I would really consider that more a conversation that you have with your physician,” Landers said.

From her medical experience, she strongly considers the additional dose to be beneficial.

“You know, I tell people who have underlying problems such as diabetes, that a booster would really be a good idea if you took Pfizer,” she said.

“We don’t have recommendations for other products at the moment, but Pfizer has been recommended for that under EUA (Emergency Use Authorization),” Landers added.

The Pfizer booster shot is only available for Pfizer vaccine recipients who received the initial vaccine series at least six months prior, according to the CDC.

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