People with diabetes often have a weakened ability to fight off infection.  That’s why you’ll hear your healthcare team cautioning you to protect yourself from infections, whether it be from the flu, Covid-19 or from cuts and scrapes.

Flu Prevention

A recent Pollara Strategic Insights poll indicated Canadians are more likely to get immunized against the flu this year because of COVID-19.  The thinking is to at least decrease your risk from getting the flu; which if a person catches, increases the risk of getting Covid-19 or weakens the ability to fight it off.  The flu shot is your best defence against the flu, and getting your flu shot as soon as possible is advised to be protected as soon as possible.

 

Did you know?

1. It takes 2 weeks for the flu vaccination to reach effectiveness.

2. The sooner you get your shot, the more time you are covered throughout the flu season!

3. Each year’s flu shot is a custom blend – so last year’s won’t protect you from the same set of flu strains as this year’s.

 

In addition to getting your flu shot every year, other flu prevention tips include

  • Washing your hands often

  • Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze

  • Not touching your face

How Getting the Flu Shot This Year Might be Different

Due to the pandemic, getting your flu shot this year will involve a couple extra steps and precautions.  In addition to the usual Flu screening questionnaire and consent forms, you will first be Covid-19 screened.  If you have Covid-19 or screen positive for possibly having Covid-19, you will be asked to get your flu shot when you are better. Waiting until you are better before getting your flu shot would also be the protocol if you are experiencing other infections or symptoms too, such as a cold, not just Covid-19.

Most places already require that we wear face masks.  As with other “close” shared activities with people not in your immediate “social bubble”, all parties should wear a face mask to protect each other e.g. being on public transit together.  In the case of getting flu shots, both you and the person administering the shot will be wearing a face mask.

Due to the additional cleaning required before and after a flu shot is given, many places that historically allowed for people to walk in for flu shots are this year offering flu shot appointment times.  This year you should check with your preferred flu shot provider first instead of simply showing up and potentially being turned away or experiencing a much longer process.

Is it the Flu, a Cold or Covid-19?

Thanks to Alberta Health Services for this chart comparing symptoms of the flu, the common cold and Covid-19.

Note: During the pandemic, if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms, you are encouraged to get tested for Covid-19 as soon as possible.  By getting tested and knowing if you have it or not, you can take appropriate actions to get back to your best health, as well as prevent others from getting sick.

Take care and stay safe!

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