People with diabetes urged to have flu jab
Healthcare professionals are being reminded to ensure all those with diabetes get the flu jab this year.
Figures released have shown one in three people who are aged under 65 and have diabetes missed out on the vaccination last winter, putting themselves at risk of developing a life-threatening complication, according to Public Health England.
Diabetes UK is urging everyone with diabetes – including those who are pregnant – to take up the offer of a free a flu jab.
Becoming ill with a serious infection such as flu causes blood sugar levels to rise so high that they become dangerous, which is why people with diabetes, in particular, are at serious risk. Even for those with a good management of their diabetes, dangerously high sugar levels can lead to acute complications of diabetes, which can often go unrecognised and could even be fatal.
The flu jab gives someone with diabetes the best chance of fighting off the flu. Without it, flu can also develop to pneumonia or bronchitis, which can often require hospital admission.
The flu jab is one of the 15 healthcare essentials that every person with diabetes is entitled to for free through the NHS every year.
Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK, said: “It can take up to two weeks for a flu jab to work. It is essential that everyone with diabetes gets their free flu jab as soon as possible to avoid the illness and eliminate the risk of life-threatening complications as flu hits the UK this winter.
“We recommend that everyone with diabetes gets in touch with their GP or local community pharmacy as soon as possible to get their free flu jab and avoid the winter illness and its possible complications.”