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Importance of a flu shot for people living with diabetes

Diabetes increases the risk of flu related complications 

People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, even when well-managed, have a greater risk of developing serious complications from influenza. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises anyone with diabetes to get a flu shot. The flu, like any illness, can make it more difficult to maintain blood sugar control and and fight infections. Blood glucose can variate when you're sick, so it's important to check more often. The UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence recommends following these sick day rules.

COVID-19 and the flu shot

The CDC says getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Diabetes is one of the many conditions that increases the risk for serious outcomes from COVID-19.

Flu shots are safe

The American Association of Diabetes Educators recommends the flu shot as a safe and effective way to prevent or reduce the severity of previously mentioned complications. The CDC sites extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.

A flu vaccine does not give you influenza

Flu vaccines do not cause the flu. They either contain inactivated virus, which are no longer infectious, or a particle designed to appear like a flu virus to your immune system.

Flu shots are effective

It takes two weeks after receiving the flu vaccine for the body’s immunity to build up. Vaccines change every year to target what are considered to be the three strains of influenza virus that health officials feel are the mosh dangerous threat that particular year. Flu shots are not 100% effective, but they greatly increase the chances that you will not get influenza.

Get a flu vaccine as early as possible

The flu shot lasts about six months. The peak months for flu cases are January and February. September or October is considered the best time to get the vaccine.

Diabetes Education Resources