People with diabetes in the West Midlands urged to come forward for Covid-19 vaccine

People with diabetes in the West Midlands have been urged by health experts to have their Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it's offered to them.

Health chiefs made the plea ahead of Diabetes Week and revealed people who have the condition face a "significantly" higher risk of dying.

And in the West Midlands, a third of deaths were associated with the condition according to the latest figures, a spokesman for the NHS said.

Professor Vinod Patel, clinical director of 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."

The risk of dying from Covid-19 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.

Professor Patel added: "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.”

Most people with diabetes are in priority group six – and the group is being invited to have their vaccine. People can book an appointment online or by calling 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

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