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Have Diabetes? Get Your Flu Shot!

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 general cuts and scrapes.

Flu Prevention

Flu shots are recommended for people with diabetes, but more so while the pandemic is still going on. The consequences of getting the flu while COVID is circulating are serious. 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.

Will the flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

No. The influenza (flu) vaccine does not protect against COVID-19. So please get a flu shot to protect yourself from the flu. And also get a COVID-19 vaccination to protect yourself from COVID-19. If you have any questions about either of these vaccines, please don’t hesitate to speak to your pharmacist or other healthcare provider.

Can I get a Flu Shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes, flu and COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time. When vaccines are administered during the same visit, they should be administered at different injection sites. For example, the shots may be to the same arm, but should be spaced apart a little, or they may be given in different arms.

Flu Prevention Facts

Did you know?

1) It takes 2 weeks for the flu vaccination to reach effectiveness. The sooner you get your shot, the sooner you will be protected!

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

3) Flu viruses can live for 24 – 48 hours on hard surfaces such as computers, door handles, phones and remote controls

Flu Prevention Tips

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

  • Drinking enough fluids to keep your mucous membranes (nose and mouth) from drying out and not performing at their peak against germs

  • Getting enough rest so your body

  • Staying home when you are sick

  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and shared

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 have also happened had you had other infections too, not just COVID-19.

Most places already required 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 shots by appointment. 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 Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan for this chart comparing symptoms of the flu, the common cold and COVID-19.Chart

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!