Type 2 diabetes: Diabetics move up the priority list for COVID jab – superseding over-65s


Under plans put forward by the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation – a government advisory group – diabetics are set to receive the coronavirus vaccine before the over-65s.

The order of priority is said to go as follows:

  • Older adults in care homes and care home workers;
  • Those 80 and over, and social care workers;
  • Those 75 years and over;
  • Those 70 and over, and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals, excluding pregnant women and those under 18.

Millions of people with diabetes are set to get the coronavirus jab at the beginning of next year.

Those who have been shielding, such as those with Crohn’s disease, are also expected to be vaccinated sooner than originally planned.

The “sick day” rules

Diabetes UK advised people to contact their diabetes team to receive the correct advice.

In general, the charity suggests to keep taking diabetes medication during an illness.

It’s important to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels at home (if possible), by checking “at least every four hours, including during the night”.

“Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks, and eat little and often,” added Diabetics UK.

“This will help you to keep your blood sugars in range as much as possible,” said the charity.

It’s also wise to be aware of the signs of hyperglycaemia – when blood sugar levels are too high.


High blood sugar levels read above 7mmol/l before a meal and above 8.5mmol/l two hours after a meal.

As blood sugar levels rise, symptoms may include the following:

  • Passing more urine than normal, especially at night
  • Being very thirsty
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness and lethargy

To help prevent hyperglycaemia, it’s advisable to “be as active as possible” and to “take diabetes medication”.

Moreover, be aware of your carbohydrate portions and how they may affect your blood sugar levels after eating.

If your blood sugar levels tend to be high on a regular basis, it’s important to contact your diabetes healthcare team.

Together, you may need to adjust your diabetes treatment plan to minimise the risk of complications.

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