Immunizations - diabetes
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Immunizations - diabetes


Immunizations (vaccines or vaccinations) help protect you from some diseases. When you have diabetes, you need to keep your vaccinations up to date. They can prevent illnesses that can be very serious and can put you in the hospital.

Vaccines have a small, safe amount of a certain germ. This germ is often a virus or bacteria. After you get a vaccine, your body learns to attack the virus or bacteria if you get it again. This means you will not get sick. Or you may just have a milder illness.

Below are some of the vaccines you need to know about. Ask your health care provider what is right for you.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

Pneumococcal vaccine can help protect you from serious infections due to the pneumococcal bacteria:

  • In the blood
  • Of the covering of the brain (meningitis)
  • In the lungs (pneumonia)

You need at least one shot. A second shot may be needed if:

  • You had the first shot more than 5 years ago and you are now over age 65.
  • Your immune system is weakened.

Most people have no or only minor side effects from the vaccine. You may have some pain and redness at the site where you get the shot.

This vaccine has a very small chance of a serious reaction or even death.

See also: pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine

Flu Shot

The flu vaccine will help protect you from the flu. It lowers your chance of mild cases of the flu. It can also protect against pneumonia.

You should get a flu vaccine every year. The best time is during late October or November. It may be given as late as March and still help protect you.

  • Even pregnant women should get a flu shot.
  • Some children under age 9 need two shots, one month apart.

There are two types of flu vaccines:

  • Anyone over age 6 months can get a flu shot.
  • Most children and adults ages 2 - 49 can get a nasal spray vaccine.
  • Pregnant woman CANNOT get the nasal spray vaccine.

In general, you should not get a flu shot if you:

  • Have a severe allergy to chickens or egg protein
  • Have a fever or illness that is more than "just a cold"
  • Had a bad reaction to a previous flu vaccine

This vaccine has a very small chance of a serious reaction or even death.

See also: Influenza vaccine

Other Important Vaccines

Other vaccines that you may need are:


Committee on Infectious Diseases. Policy Statement -- Recommendations for prevention and control of influenza in children, 2010-2011. Pediatrics. 2010 Aug 30.

Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed October 2, 2010

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults, United States, 2010. Available online.

Review Date: 11/25/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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