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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 which is right for you. Also ask if you should get other vaccines.

    Pneumococcal Vaccine

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

    • In the blood (bacteremia)
    • 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.

    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.

    Flu Shot

    The flu vaccine helps protect you from the flu. Each year, the type of flu that makes people sick is different. This is why you should get a flu shot every year. The best time to get the shotis in the early fall, so that you will protected all flu season, which usually lasts until the following March.

    Persons with diabetes 6 months and older should get the fluvaccine each year.

    There aretwowaysyou can receive theflu vaccine:

    • Shot (injection): A shot is given by needle and syringe. Flu shots can be given to healthy persons 6 months and older. One type ofshot is injected into a muscle (often the upper arm muscle). Another type is injected just under the skin. Your health care provider can tell you which shot is right for you.
    • Nasal spray vaccine: This flu vaccine is sprayed into the nose.This vaccine can be given to healthy persons between ages 2 and 49. Pregnant women cannot receive the nasal vaccine. Your healthcare provider can tell you if the nasal vaccine is right for you.

    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.

    Hepatitis B Vaccine

    The hepatitis B vaccine helps protect you from getting a liver infection due to the hepatitis B virus. Persons with diabetes ages 19 - 59 should get the vaccine. Your doctor can tell you if this vaccine is right for you.

    Other Important Vaccines

    Other vaccines that you may need are:

    • Hepatitis A
    • Tdap
    • MMR
    • Herpes zoster
    • Polio


    American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes--2013. Diabetes Care. 2013;36 Suppl 1:S11-S66.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years and Older-- United States, 2013. Available Accessed February 8, 2013.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommended Immunization Schedule forPersons Aged0 Through 18Years-- United States, 2013. Available Accessed February 8, 2013.


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              Tests for Immunizations - diabetes

                Review Date: 12/11/2012

                Reviewed By: Nancy J. Rennert, MD, Chief of Endocrinology & Diabetes, Norwalk Hospital, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

                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. 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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