DIABETES specialist and Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro has urged people with the diabetic condition to embrace vaccination so as to prevent COVID-19 infection as well as avoid critical illness and even death.
By Patricia Mashiri
His call comes as a response to growing concerns by people with diabetes and other chronic ailments on whether they should take up vaccination or not.
In an interview with HealthTimes, Dr Mangwiro said people with diabetes can be vaccinated just as should any other persons with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, Asthma and cancer among others.
People with diabetes can be vaccinated when the diabetes is well controlled. When Diabetes patients are not sure they must first check in their doctors. I have diabetes and I have been vaccinated long back and I have not experienced any side effects. The vaccines that we use that is the Sinopharm, Sinovac and Sputnik-V are safe and efficient.
“People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing complications of COVID-19, making it all the more important that they are vaccinated against the disease as soon as possible. So far we have not experienced an adverse effect of the vaccine. If there there is any it should be localized pains and reactions which are not serious. Therefore, I advise everyone to get vaccine. WHO advised that everyone can get vaccinated including pregnant women and lactating mothers,” Dr Mangwiro said.
According to the ministry of health statistics, in Zimbabwe, it is estimated that 10 in 100 people have diabetes and currently, diabetes statistics represent over 100 000 visits or consultations at outpatients departments per year.
Dr Gojka Rojka from the World Health Organization (WHO) said the pandemic has sho- wn that people with diabetes are at higher risk than people without the disease ha- ving a severe illness of COVID-19 and also dying of COVID.
“The two main types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Type 2 is much more common. Type 1 seems to also have a higher risk than type 2 of a COVID-19 illness and death. Vaccination is recommended for people with diabetes as a priority group for vaccinating. Vaccinations are encouraged and they have been proven to be safe and effective.
“Given that people with diabetes are considers a vulnerable group because of the higher risk of death than people without diabetes , we strongly recommend all the measures for containing the pandemic and for protecting ourselves as individuals such as hand washing, wearing masks, ventilating indoor habitats, socializing with people preferably outdoors whenever possible, and keeping the safe physical distance,” Dr Roglic.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that it is important for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to receive vaccinations for COVID-19 because they are at increased risk for severe illness and death from novel corona virus.