Diabetes affects more than 8% of the U.S. population and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. (1) According to the CDC, if you have diabetes, you are three times more likely to be hospitalized and three times more likely to die from the flu and its complications than other people. The flu may also affect your blood glucose levels.
Getting an influenza vaccine every year is a strong recommendation. The pneumococcal vaccine is also recommended for people with diabetes. One possible complication of flu can be pneumonia. (2) The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (often called PPV) can help prevent this disease. PPV can be given at the same time as the flu vaccine-or at any time of the year. Most people only have to take PPV once in their life. Ask your health care provider whether you might need a second vaccination. (3)
The CDC also recommends a one-time dose of the Tdap vaccine, followed by a Td booster once every 10 years, for adults 65 years if they are in contact with children under the age of 12 months. The Tdap vaccine provides adults protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html gives you the CDCs’ latest immunization schedule. As per this schedule, some other vaccines may also be recommended for diabetes patients, especially if they have not been vaccinated before or if they have some other risk factors. This list may include Varicella, MMR, Hepatitis B, meningococcal, HPV, Zoster and Hepatitis A.
As an immunization provider, I would advise any adult diabetes patient to discuss immunizations with their health care provider. I feel that children are often all caught up on their shots either because of diligent parents or because of school enrollment rules. It is mostly, us adults who tend to be more lax on our health. To those who are wary of getting too many vaccinations – I am not saying that you will need to take all the vaccines mentioned above. Rather, it is a comprehensive list, based on the CDC schedules.
Your health care provider can decide which shots are a must, based on your medical history and your vaccination record. Another suggestion from me would be to keep your vaccination records updated and in a safe place. This record lists all the vaccines you have taken along with the dates they were administered and details of each vaccine. Each time you take a vaccine, this card will be updated. The vaccination card can be provided by your immunization provider.