Covid-19 Vaccine: Driving Prioritization for T1D in California


Updated March 31, 2021.

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Vaccinations opening for all Californians aged 50 and up April 1st, and 16 and up April 15th

The state of California is expanding who is eligible to get the vaccine based on expected supply increases. It will still take months to get every Californian vaccinated who wants to be, but millions are being vaccinated each week.

As of March 31, Contra Costa County has expanded eligibility to all people 16 and up. Click here for a directory of local health departments in the state of California

In addition, the CDC has updated their COVID-19 prioritization to include T1D as a high-risk condition. This is a big win for our community after months of continued efforts from the JDRF team. We urge states that have not yet prioritized those with T1D for for COVID-19 vaccines, including the state of California, to immediately adopt the CDC’s revised guidelines to save lives and reduce the risk of complications.

Evidence shows that adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have similar risks with COVID-19 as people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and therefore JDRF is advocating for them to receive the same priority access to vaccines as they become available as people with T2D.

JDRF is Advocating for Vaccine Prioritization for the T1D Community

JDRF provided formal comments to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calling for a review of the latest data, met with officials there, and joined with other diabetes organizations in submitting a joint letter  to the CDC. Our communications to the agency advocate for those with T1D and T2D to be categorized as high priority for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Beginning March 15, healthcare providers may use their clinical judgement to vaccinate individuals aged 16-64 who are deemed to be at the highest risk to get very sick from COVID-19 because of underlying health conditions. On the state of California website, it states that an individual may also be deemed at very high risk if one or more of the following applies:

  • The individual is likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection
  • Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual’s ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival
  • Providing adequate and timely COVID care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual’s disability.

For more details on the state of California’s vaccine plan, please visit

County websites currently list varying conditions – some list diabetes in general, some only list type 2 diabetes and some include type 1 diabetes. Kaiser Permanente has added type 1 diabetes to its priority list of underlying health conditions. Click here for a directory of local health departments in the state of California.

How You Can Get Involved:

While many communities are relying on CDC guidelines, others are creating their own prioritization groups. You may wish to reference the following steps as you consider advocating for yourself and the T1D community for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization.

  1. Check with your healthcare provider about eligibility and ask them to write a letter stating the need for you to have priority vaccination.
  2. Check with your county about eligibility and how to schedule an appointment. Healthcare systems, pharmacies and other providers have different eligibility requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations.  Click here for a directory of local health departments in the state of California
  3. Submit a Message to Key Vaccine Policy Influencers in Your Community. This could include news organizations, public health agency leaders, elected officials, hospital CEOs, and physicians.
    • Contact Information:

California Department of Public Health PO Box 997377, MS 0500 Sacramento, CA 95899-7377

Governor Gavin Newsom 1303 10th Street, Suite 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814

Governor Gavin Newsom Electronic Message

Click here for a directory of local health departments in the state of California

4. Connect with Key Vaccine Policy Influencers to Share Your Message by taking steps such as:

    • Engage on Social Media. Regularly comment on the social media accounts of key influencers and post from your own platforms. Like, comment, and share our posts about Covid-19 vaccine prioritization on our Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter pages.
    • Tag key influencers, use the hashtag #PrioritizeT1D, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
    • Submit Letters to the Editor to local newspapers. Many have ways to do so on their websites.
    • Speak at Community Meetings. Many communities are having virtual meetings to share information about the COVID response. Speak up during the public comment period on this issue.

5. Respond to petitions like this, created by community members in California.

To learn more about coronavirus and T1D, visit To stay up to date on Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 vaccines, visit our national blog here.