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Influenza vaccine and diabetes

Influenza vaccine is the most effective way to prevent influenza as well as the resulting complications and deaths. A person with diabetes should get an annual influenza vaccination.

Influenza is caused by the influenza viruses A and B. An inflammation of the upper respiratory track, it is more intense, severe and longer lasting than a common cold. Influenza symptoms often include a high fever as well as general symptoms, such as headache, muscular pain and a poor general condition. An influenxa inflammation may last up to several weeks.

For a person with diabetes, the symptoms may include an increased need for insulin and a notably high blood sugar. If you treat diabetes with tablets, you may require insulin injections to control your blood sugar. If you have diabetes which is treated with insulin, you may need to increase your insulin dose during illness in accordance with the sick-day instructions.

A person with diabetes is more susceptible to a bacterial infection, such as sinusitis, ear infection or pneumonia as a post-influenza complication. The vaccination also reduces the risk of pulmonary embolism or cerebral embolism.

Taking the seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended to all with diabetes. The vaccinations start in October–November. A person with diabetes, as well as their close relative living in the same household, can receive the vaccination for free from their local health centre or occupational health service.

Updated 8.11.2023