Diabetic? Here’s Why You Should Get A Flu Vaccination!

diabetes and flu

It is a known fact that all people with diabetes are at risk of health complications and infections. Influenza or flu is an infection that particularly hits diabetics hard and increases their risk of morbidity and hospitalization. Getting a flu shot is an effective and simple way to prevent the flu and its complications in patients who have or are at risk of getting diabetes.

Why People With Diabetes Need A Flu Shot? 

When flu strikes people with diabetes, it becomes difficult to manage blood glucose levels[1]. While flu in healthy people is about controlling the symptoms such as fever, aches, and weakness, in diabetics it is more than aches and pains. The symptoms are more severe and last longer in diabetics, which in severe cases can lead to death. 

Studies[2] have reported that diabetics are six times more susceptible to getting hospitalized during an influenza epidemic as compared to non-diabetics. Diabetes increases the susceptibility to different kinds of respiratory infections by acting on the immune system. It reduces the activity of antibodies to the viral antigens. This is the reason why people with diabetes are 5-15% more likely to die due to influenza than those without diabetes. 

How Often Should You Get Vaccination? 

Getting a seasonal vaccine annually can help you to fight the viral particles and provide the best results. This is because the efficacy of the vaccine reduces with time and also there is a change in the virus structure every year. In India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), recommends annual vaccination for people with chronic illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchial asthma, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, blood disorders, cancer and for those who are immunocompromised. 

Ask your doctor to know more about influenza vaccination today! 


1. Flu and People with Diabetes. Who is at High Risk for Flu Complications. Seasonal Influenza (Flu). The Centers For Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/diabetes.htm

2. Kesavadev J, Misra A, Das AK, Saboo B, Basu D, Thomas N, Joshi SR, Unnikrishnan A G, Shankar A, Krishnan G, Unnikrishnan R, Mohan V. Suggested use of vaccines in diabetes. Indian J Endocr Metab 2012;16:886-93. http://www.ijem.in/article.asp?issn=2230-8210;year=2012;volume=16;issue=6;spage=886;epag e=893;aulast=Kesavadev 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent and unbiased views solely of the publisher. This is a part of the public awareness initiative on influenza supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of this article. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information. 

Updated Date: Oct 30, 2019 17:47:25 IST 

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