Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Offering COVID-19 Vaccine

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Source: SDRI

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) has begun distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to Santa Barbara’s diabetes community, specifically older Hispanic/Latino adults living with diabetes. The first vaccine doses administered by SDRI were given on January 27, 2021.

“At SDRI, we are following the science by targeting the group with one of the highest risks from COVID-19, namely Latino adults with diabetes,” said Dr. David Kerr, SDRI’s Director of Research and Innovation. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to see a disproportionate number of Latino adults hospitalized because of COVID-19, and with diabetes, the risk of an extremely serious outcome from the infection is increased dramatically.” 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, infection with the virus causing COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the existing health disparities in the United States. From the perspective of people with diabetes, we know that certain underserved populations have a disproportionate burden of diabetes, most notably type 2 diabetes. These hard-hit populations include the local Latino community, in which rates of diabetes are double those of the background population. Latino adults also tend to develop diabetes at a younger age and this is associated with worse overall blood glucose control and a higher risk of serious complications associated with diabetes. 

SDRI has been able to identify and engage this vulnerable population thanks to relationships and trust built through ongoing research, education, and care efforts focused specifically on Latino individuals and families. These include the Mil Familias research initiative (, Spanish-language diabetes education, and bilingual web resources ( and ( SDRI’s Latino diabetes work is facilitated by trained, bilingual Latino Community Scientists (known to participants as Especialistas), who are now key liaisons with the community for vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. 

Subsequently, based on vaccine supply from the State of California and guidance from the local and state public health departments, SDRI aims to expand vaccination to other Latinos with diabetes at a younger age, those who are essential workers, and also non-Latinos with diabetes. Starting with those over the age of 65 and with type 1 diabetes will also be eligible for the vaccine once it is available at SDRI.  

“We hope to extend the offer of the vaccine to as many Latino adults with diabetes as we can find in the local area,” said Dr. Kerr.  

Due to SDRI’s commitment to administering the limited supply of vaccine to those at highest risk, SDRI vaccination registration is currently by invitation and appointment only. Please reach out to our bilingual staff at (805) 699-1519 to check your eligibility and to be placed on a waiting list at SDRI.

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SBNatural Feb 25, 2021 12:44 PM
Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Offering COVID-19 Vaccine

If you don't believe me, call the Chumash Health Clinic. They have plenty of vaccine for all patients. And I suspect that you will find public health having supplies, while if you go to your oridnary primary care provider which coverage you pay for, vaccine is not available. The Chumash clinic is closed to new patients, BTW.

robyn Feb 25, 2021 01:30 PM
Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Offering COVID-19 Vaccine

OK, based on this comment, I called the Tribal Health Clinic and spoke with Lisa. The Tribal clinic is vaccinating all of their patients, regardless of age, and has enough vaccine for anyone in their system. But you have to be an existing patient or a tribal member, and they are not accepting new patients.
Trying to make rules about vaccine distribution - and then complying with the supposed rules - is a nightmare. The only thing I know for sure is that, wherever I turn, there is no vaccine available for me (65+) in Santa Barbara county. Other states, other counties in California, other cities in LA county, NO PROBLEM. In Santa Barbara, big problem.

SBNatural Feb 25, 2021 12:27 PM
Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Offering COVID-19 Vaccine

I understand prioritizing ANYONE with high risk health conditions, but could we focus on the condition and leave race/ethnicity out of the picture? Your vulnerability is determined by you health condition. Period.
Also, the Chumash Tribal Clinic has more than enough vaccine to immunize all of its patients regardless of age, while the rest of the folks are finding white privilege does not help with vaccine access.

sacjon Feb 25, 2021 12:51 PM
Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Offering COVID-19 Vaccine

SBNATURAL - "Your vulnerability is determined by you health condition." WRONG, period. It's common knowledge that some races have genetic predispositions to certain diseases, or are affected more severely due to these predispositions. How do you not know that?

JB86 Feb 24, 2021 11:28 PM
Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Offering COVID-19 Vaccine

These folks are doing the best they can to reach the most vulnerable, specifically within the Latino community, which is great. My concern is that such isn't happening with all people with this disease? What about everyone else, including 65 year olds, with diabetes? They are just standing in an indefinite line waiting their turn, along with everyone else. Add on the 'special interests,' Educators and , believe it or not cannabis industry workers, and these folks are pushed further down the line.
I'm 65+ and will just wait my turn but wish everyone with special vulnerabilities could be prioritized.

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