MILWAUKEE — Right now some Wisconsinites with chronic diseases, like type 1 diabetes, are pushing to be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Recently, the Diabetes Leadership Council sent a letter to Gov. Tony Evers, sharing there are about 28,000 Wisconsinites with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and almost all of them are watching and waiting to find out when they will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

As a high-risk group, people with T1D want to be prioritized for vaccine distribution equitably with other vulnerable populations who are also disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts people with type 2 diabetes in phase 1C of the rollout, but puts people with type 1 diabetes in phase 2 of the distribution plan. The Diabetes Leadership Council is hoping this will change and that health leaders will see both groups as a priority. 

“When I think about possibly contracting [COVID-19], I am terrified because my immune system is compromised and I think a lot of people don’t realize those with diabetes are much more susceptible to infections and the recovery process is more difficult,” said Karen Grishaber, a board member with the Diabetes Leadership Council.

Currently, Wisconsin is in the early stages of the phase 1B rollout.