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Having the flu can be dangerous for anyone. But it is extra risky for people with diabetes or other chronic health problems. Having diabetes means having more instances of high blood glucose (blood sugar) than a person without diabetes. High blood glucose hinders your white blood cells’ ability to fight infections.

People with diabetes face a higher risk of severe illness from any infection, including influenza. That’s why it is so important that those with diabetes get their flu shot each season.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Influenza (the flu) vaccines are safe and effective for people with diabetes, including type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

Both the flu and the common cold result from viruses, but the flu packs much more of a punch. You may have similar symptoms at times, but some are more distinct for the flu or a common cold.

No, it does not. Scientists do not know what specifically causes type 1 diabetes (T1D), but there is no evidence that flu shots, nor any routine childhood immunizations to protect against other diseases (measles, polio, etc), cause this autoimmune condition.

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Cough or chest
  • Discomfort
  • Slight aches
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Sore throat

  • Body aches (these tend to be a key warning sign for most people that they have the flu, rather than a cold)
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Protection lasts around 6 to 8 months, starting two weeks after you receive the vaccine. Once the season ends, the flu shot does not protect you any longer: you will need a new vaccination for the following year’s season.

Annual vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza in people ages 6 months and older. An annual vaccination to prevent flu is the best way to reduce the risk of getting the flu and spreading it to others.

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