Autoimmune Diseases

Type 1 Diabetes Patients Become Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine in 12+ States

The Colorado Department of Health along with 11 other states just raised vaccination eligibility requirements for type 1 diabetes patients as a “high risk” group. In Colorado, anyone between the ages of 16-64 who have T1 diabetes and one other high risk condition will be eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine as early as today, March 5. They will be included in the 1B.3 vaccine group. This comes after Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) extensive lobbying efforts to list T1 diabetes as a high risk condition alongside T2 diabetes.

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Autoimmune Diseases Reported to be Triggered by SARS-CoV-2

The group at the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases of the Sheba Medical Center and the Laboratory of the Mosaic of Autoimmunity at Saint Petersburg State University have comprehensively investigated and reported the association between various common pathogenic viruses and the development of autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. In light of the current global pandemic, they have also shifted their focus to include a recent (December 2020) review of the appearance of autoimmune diseases reported to be triggered by a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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The VAXICOV Study, Autoimmune Disease and Vaccination Concerns

The results of the international VAccinations against COVid-19 (VAXICOV) study were published this week, revealing patient concerns and expectations around receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Patients with systemic autoimmune or inflammatory rheumatic diseases were asked to participate in the online survey across 56 countries. Health care workers were also included as a control group. The most commonly documented autoimmune conditions were systemic lupus erythematosus, spondyloarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The median score for patients who reported “being afraid to get infected” with COVID-19 was 8, and afraid to “develop severe COVID-19” was 9. That being said, only 54.2% of patients with systemic autoimmune or rheumatic disease were willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to seeing their specialist. 32.2% of patients were uncertain and 13% stated they were unwilling.

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