TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A doctor on Wednesday (June 16) urged diabetes patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, as once they contract the disease, they are eight times more likely to die than the general population, CNA reported.
As of Wednesday, COVID-19 had caused 478 deaths in Taiwan. According to Central Epidemic Command Center statistics, over 89 percent of those deaths were among people over 60 years old.
Diabetes Association of Taiwan Chairman Huang Chien-ning (黃建寧), a medical doctor, said on Wednesday that many diabetes patients have been worried about side effects from the vaccines and have thus been hesitant to take the jabs.
He added that global data collected over the past year has shown the COVID death rate for diabetics to be eight times higher than the general population. He added that about 40 percent of COVID mortalities in Taiwan have been of the group.
The data has also shown the rate of severe COVID illness among diabetics to be elevated, according to Huang. People with poor blood sugar regulation may become more easily infected too, he continued.
As for the possible side effect of blood clots some vaccines have caused, the doctor pointed out that the chance is one in a million and that there is no causal relationship with diabetes.
The number of diabetes patients in Taiwan has broken the two million mark and is increasing every year, the doctor warned, with the age of patients becoming younger and younger.
He emphasized that diabetes patients should not change their normal diabetes management routines during the pandemic. If they are afraid to see a doctor at the hospital, they should opt for a teleconsultation and ask relatives to pick up the medicine, per CNA.