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Early COVID-19 vaccination is being tested in the fight against type 1 diabetes

Early COVID-19 vaccination is being tested in the fight against type 1 diabetes

Just over 5,000 babies are born each year in Sweden with an increased risk of developing autoimmune diabetes, known as type 1 diabetes. Every year, about 900 children and young people become infected with the disease. What triggers an autoimmune reaction is still unclear. Many factors play a role in the development of the disease, and researchers have suggested that viral infection could be one of them.

– We have seen in previous studies that there is an increased risk of developing the disease in the early stages of type 1 diabetes, that is, you develop more autoantibodies, in children who had Covid-19 in the early years. We are now conducting an interventional study to see if vaccination can reduce the risk, says Markus Lundgren, chief physician in pediatric and adolescent medicine at Kristianstad Central Hospital and a researcher at Lund University.

The study is part of an international research collaboration, and in addition to Sweden, researchers from Germany, Belgium and Great Britain are participating. A total of 2,300 children will be included in the study, of which about 300 will be from Scania.

The study has just begun, and the plan is for results to appear in 2030.

The hope is that through the study we will contribute to clarifying the relationship between viral infections, the development of antibodies and type 1 diabetes, says Helena Elding Larsson, Director of Pediatrics at Skane University Hospital and professor at Lund University.

Early Covid-19 vaccination is being tested in the fight against type 1 diabetes (

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Type 1 diabetes facts

  • Type 1 diabetes is a relatively common endocrine disease among children and young people, and continues to increase among children in Sweden.
  • Children with autoimmune diabetes must be treated with insulin for the rest of their lives.
  • Type 1 diabetes often goes undetected until a person develops severe and sometimes life-threatening symptoms. However, if the disease is detected early, serious acute complications can be avoided.

    Source: Lund University

Gipad | Global Platform for the Prevention of Autoimmune Diabetes (
Diabetes (