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People with diabetes often have a weakened ability to fight off infection.  Unfortunately, this can even happen in people with well-managed diabetes. That’s why you’ll hear your healthcare team cautioning you to protect yourself from infections, whether it be from the flu or from cuts and scrapes.

Flu Prevention

October kicks off flu season in Canada, with general infection patterns going from the west coast to the east coast, between October until as late as May.  Flu shots start being offered around this time of year to start protecting as many people as soon as possible.

It’s important to get a flu shot every year because each year’s flu shot is a new combination against different strains of the flu than in previous years.  The sooner you get your shot, the better because:

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

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

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

Other Recommended Vaccinations

People with diabetes are recommended by Immunize Canada to get an annual flu shot, as well as the Pneumonia vaccine.  The Pneumonia vaccine is typically a single dose, but a booster is recommended depending on your age and the type of vaccine you received originally, or if you have chronic renal failure.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) also recommends getting the Hepatitis B vaccine, Shingles vaccine and an every 10 year Booster for Tetanus-Diphtheria.

Get Screened!

If you aren’t sure about which vaccinations are recommended for you, check with your family doctor or book an appointment to get screened by your LMC Diabetes Educator Pharmacist the next time you are at the LMC Clinic.