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Information for UMass Memorial Diabetes Center Patients

COVID-19 poses additional concerns to people living with diabetes and requires extra planning. Uncontrolled blood glucose may increase the risk of developing severe illness from coronavirus. 

We recommend refilling prescriptions and always having enough insulin on hand for at least two weeks, in the event of illness and/or quarantine. Also, be prepared with ample household items and groceries.

The UMass Memorial Diabetes Center offers telehealth services and virtual visits as an option to in-person meetings. This will allow people to connect with our care team from the convenience of home via a secure platform using a computer or mobile device.

Coronavirus and Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remind us that people living with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with a virus. This does NOT mean a greater chance of contracting the virus. Learn More

As of early January, the CDC recognized type 2 diabetes (T2D) differently than type 1 diabetes (T1D) in terms of prioritizing COVID vaccine access. People with T2D are categorized as “at increased risk” of more severe illness, while those with T1D are listed as “might be at an increased risk” for severe illness.

On January 13th, nineteen diabetes organizations signed a letter urging the CDC to immediately prioritize T1D alongside T2D.

Dozens of additional COVID-19 vaccines are currently being tested around the world, and research continues for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for optimal dosing in children as well as those with autoimmune conditions.

COVID-19 Vaccine Availability 

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Emergency Use Authorization of both Pfizer and Moderna's COVID vaccines. They're both mRNA vaccines, that “teach” human cells how to make a protein, or a piece of a protein, that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That process produces antibodies that protect us from contracting an infection if the real virus enters our bodies. 

  • Pfizer's vaccine is for people 16 and older. After the first dose, a second “booster” shot is required 21 days later.
  • Moderna's vaccine is for adults 18 and older. It also requires two shots, with a 28-day break before the second dose.

The first phase of COVID immunizations are going to health care workers, police, fire and emergency medical workers, residents in long term facilities, residents & staff of shelters and correctional facilities, and home health care workers.

UMass Memorial Health Care is prioritizing shipments of doses for workers treating patients with confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including doctors, nurses and employees who clean patient rooms. 

Vaccine availability for other high risk groups is likely to occur early this year.

Your Safety is Our Priority

Don’t delay care! Not being seen could cause an increase in symptoms or further deteriorate your health. Strict safety measures are in place for our patients and caregivers.

New UMass Memorial Safety Protocols

UMass Memorial has a Coronavirus Task Force staying current with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates, working closely with the Worcester Department of Public Health and other health officials, and taking all readiness and safety measures. 

If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, cough or fever, have traveled to infected regions, or have had known or suspected contact with the virus - call your primary care physician. If you’re not well and have a previously scheduled doctor’s appointment - call first rather than showing up where you might expose other people.

Diabetes Sick Day Guidelines

When you’re sick, even with a simple cold, blood glucose may rise. It's always important to follow these diabetes sick day guidelines.  

Emergency Preparedness Kits

Putting together a diabetes emergency kit and having a plan in place will help people living with diabetes effectively manage blood sugar during any emergency situation or unexpected natural disaster.

COVID Information from

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health provides updated information and resources.