Diabetic patients across Shropshire urged to have Covid jab

Patients with diabetes across the county are being urged to have their Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it is offered to them.

The plea comes ahead of Diabetes Week, which runs from June 14 – 20.

People living with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with Covid-19, with a third of deaths in the West Midlands associated with the condition according to local NHS statistics.

The risk tends to be greater for those who have high blood glucose levels and those who are overweight.

Being overweight can increase the risk of developing infections and makes it harder for the body to fight them.

People of black and south Asian ethnic background are especially vulnerable to both Covid-19 and type 2 diabetes.

They have a greater risk of death from Covid-19 than white people and are three times more likely and people from south Asian communities six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white people in the UK

Most people with diabetes are in priority group six and this group is being invited to have their vaccine.

When invited, people will be able to book at one of the vaccination centres, pharmacy or general practice sites across the region.

People can book an appointment online to receive their vaccine or call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

'Do not delay'

Professor Vinod Patel, clinical director diabetes at NHS England & NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said: “I would urge everyone with diabetes to get the coronavirus vaccine and take whichever vaccine you're offered.

"This is because people with diabetes are vulnerable to developing a severe illness if they do get coronavirus, and vaccines are the most effective way to prevent that from happening.

"Vaccines are safe, effective and it’s never too late to get your jab.

"So, if you’re eligible, do not delay booking in for your appointment.

“I would also encourage people during the pandemic to ensure that they have their annual diabetes reviews.

"It’s important that diabetes patients keep up their routine of checking their feet, keeping to a healthy diet and doing some physical activity in line with the restrictions.

"If you notice something different that you are concerned about such as a cut or blister to your foot, call your GP practice and let them know. If you have a change in your vision you should get in touch with your local screening service or optometrist.”

A dedicated helpline – 0345 123 2399 – is available to advise those who need help with insulin.

The helpline is part of a package of measures in place for people with diabetes or at risk, including the world-leading Diabetes Prevention Programme, which has already successfully helped almost 90,000 people who were at risk of type 2, to lose a combined weight of more than 407,967 pounds.

NHS England and NHS Improvement has also produced a special video which helps people with diabetes to look after their feet.

The video is available at youtu.be/sX9Faxnvuhg

For information about Diabetes Week visit www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-week

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