COVID-19 Vaccine: Driving Prioritization for T1D in Pennsylvania


UPDATED 2/12/21


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 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 direct communications to the agency continue to advocate for those with T1D and T2D to be categorized as high priority for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.


Vaccine Rollout Plan for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is currently in Phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. This Phase includes persons ages 16-64 with high-risk conditions, including type 2 diabetes. (For a full list of Phase 1A conditions, click here) Therefore, those with such high-risk conditions are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

Type 1 diabetes is currently not on that list. 

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. Identify Key Vaccine Policy Influencers in Your Community. This could include news organizations, public health agency leaders, elected officials, hospital CEOs, and physicians.
  2. Study Our Resources to Gather Key Facts and Prepare Your Message on why people with T1D should be prioritized for vaccines alongside T2D.
  3. 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.
    • Tag key influencers, use the hashtag #Prioritize T1D, 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.
    • Submit Comment Letters. Some agencies are offering an opportunity to provide written comments about vaccine policies specifically, or the COVID plans more broadly. You can also send letters directly to Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health

NEW! This Week:

This week, our chapter was featured in a news article from York Daily Record regarding this issue. Western and Central Pennsylvania volunteer, Angie Lankford, and JDRF’s chief mission strategy officer, Cynthia Rice explained why this issue is so crucial for the Pennsylvania population living with type 1 diabetes.

We have also just learned that Pennsylvania Senator, Patrick Stefano, plans to introduce legislation to add T1D to Phase 1A of the current COVID-19 vaccination plan. We hope to have an update for you on this movement in the near future.



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