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Get Your Flu Vaccine During National Diabetes Month

Nov 11, 2015

National Diabetes Month in November is an important month to remind people with diabetes to get a flu vaccine. While CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu, it is particularly important that people with diabetes, even well-controlled diabetes, protect themselves from the flu, a respiratory illness that can lead to severe medical complications.

\"People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing serious flu-related complications from an influenza virus. This is because diabetes can make the immune system less able to fight infections and getting the flu makes it harder to control blood sugar,\" states Jean Bellisario, Director of Infectious Disease at Peoria City/County Health Department. \"According to the CDC, over 1 in 3 flu-related hospitalizations are people with diabetes. Vaccinating against the flu can help prevent the flu and the need for many of these hospitalizations. The flu vaccines have a very long safety record in people with diabetes and they are very effective.\"

Bellisario adds, \"Along with the flu vaccine, remember to include Pneumonia vaccines into a diabetes management plan. People with diabetes are also at increased risk of pneumonia during flu season.\" While there has been little flu activity in Central Illinois and across the United States so far this season, flu outbreaks do occur from fall through winter. Bellisario advises “With November as National Diabetes Month and with people gathering for the holidays, now is a great time to remind people with diabetes to get their vaccinations, before people around you become ill. Vaccinations are available throughout the community - at many medical offices, pharmacies, retail stores, health clinics, and health departments.”

Getting vaccinated for seasonal flu each year has proven to be the single best way to reduce the risk of getting and spreading the flu.

For more information on important public health issues visit the Peoria City/County Health Department website at


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