Vaccines are an important part of staying healthy with diabetes.
Staying healthy with diabetes involves more than just the daily management of your blood sugar. People living with diabetes can sometimes face a higher risk of acute illness and complications, including preventable illnesses, which makes vaccine recommendations in this group especially important.
Even slightly elevated blood glucose levels can increase your risk of infection, so recovering from an illness can be a longer, more difficult process for people with diabetes. Physical stress from the infection can also contribute to spikes in blood sugar.
For all of these reasons, it’s essential for people with diabetes to stay up-to-date on these recommended vaccines.
Even when carefully managed, flu can be dangerous for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, the flu shot has a long-established safety record for individuals living with diabetes and can help to prevent or minimize the impact of the flu and flu-related complications. For the best protection, try to schedule a flu shot before the end of October so that antibodies have time to develop before flu season is in full swing.
People living with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes may be at a higher risk of contracting pneumonia, particularly as a complication of flu. The pneumococcal vaccine can help prevent pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia, and your doctor or Rite Aid Pharmacist can advise you on the best time to get it.
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and in many cases can lead to a painful rash and nerve pain, with side effects including fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach. In a more severe form, the virus may affect the eyes and could cause vision loss. Vaccination is the only way to reduce your risk of developing shingles.
Daily diabetes management requires blood testing, and if the equipment used in the tests is irresponsibly maintained or shared it can lead to contact with viruses. This means that people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are often at a higher risk of Hepatitis B. The Hepatitis B virus is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV, making it very easy to transmit.
Most people receive a pertussis or whooping cough vaccination as a baby and a booster shot called DTaP as a child. The shot for teens and adults, which also helps protect against tetanus and diphtheria, is called the Tdap and is recommended by the CDC for those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Staying informed and organized is one of the best ways to maintain your health. Work with your doctor or Rite Aid Pharmacist to discuss which vaccines may be right for you and create a schedule for the ones you're due to receive. Even if you have a busy schedule, it's important to take the time to prioritize your health. Print and fill out your consent forms ahead of time and stop by your local Rite Aid today.
By Samantha Markovitz, NBC-HWC
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Flu and People with Diabetes
American Diabetes Association, Flu and Pneumonia Shots
Rite Aid, Shingles
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Diabetes and Hepatitis B Vaccination
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Pertussis Vaccination
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.