By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recently moved Type 1 diabetics up into the 1B.3 vaccination group. That means that anyone who is between the ages of 16 and 64, with Type 1 diabetes and another high risk condition will be eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine as early as March 5.

(credit: CBS)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention specifically named Type 2 diabetes as a high risk condition. But in Colorado, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation lobbied to include Type 1 diabetes also. The research bares out the need.

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“When the data came out this summer that indicated that people with Type 1 were at the same risk, or maybe even greater, that was a surprise to a lot of us,” said Dr. Todd Alonso, an Associate Professor at the Barbara Davis Center at the University of Colorado. “It’s really clear that older adults, 50 and over, are at least as high of a risk as Type 2.”

Diabetics in the Black and Hispanic communities are at highest risk of ending up in the hospital, and having severe outcomes with COVID.

“I think the decision to include all people with diabetes, in this current group, the 16 to 64 with diabetes plus one other condition off the list, is a really good decision,” Alonso said.

(credit Samantha Bozin)

Samantha Bozin is an actress, a movie director, and a Type 1 diabetic. She was diagnosed at 4 years old, and she’s been tracking her blood sugar levels ever since.

“I can’t really remember anything before being diagnosed,” Bozin told CBS4.

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She’s even made a movie about diabetes, to raise awareness and advocate for lower insulin prices.

“I’ve gotten a lot of great feed back within the diabetes community,” she said.

Bozin has been anxious since COVID-19 started last year.

“I’ve had the flu before, and it was brutal,” she explained. “We have to be really careful because our blood sugars, when we’re sick, they tend to go high, or sometimes with the stomach flu, they go really low.”

In addition to diabetes, Bozin has other autoimmune diseases making her eligible to get the COVID vaccine in group 1B.3.

“It’s just really exciting, and relieving to know that I’m going to be vaccinated soon.”

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LINK: Vaccination Information by County

Libby Smith