Do you have diabetes? The vaccines you need

Vaccines are powerful tools that protect the general population from various infectious diseases, but people with diabetes must pay much more attention to their immunization schedule than others. Their condition places them within risk groups that, without protection, would be more likely to contract those diseases or develop their more serious forms. Do not expose yourself: here we tell you what vaccines you need .

A person with his vaccines up to date, is a much more protected person than another without vaccinating, no matter how healthy he is. The protection offered by vaccines  is particularly important for people within risk groups, who are more vulnerable to contracting diseases, because when the immune system is compromised not only the infection develops more easily, but also the most severe forms of it with more serious consequences. People with heart conditions  or chronic lung conditions, as well as diabetics , are among those risk groups.

If you are diabetic , it is vital that you are aware of the vaccines you need. As I mentioned, your condition alters your body’s defense mechanisms which can make it harder to fight the infection. In turn, infections can decompensate your diabetes, which becomes a vicious circle that forces you to longer treatments and perhaps, in some cases, even to require hospitalization. No wonder the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes be vaccinated against influenza (flu or flu ) every year, because this disease is much more dangerous for them. It also reports that diabetics have a three times greater chance of dying as a result of influenza (flu or flu).) or pneumonia than the rest of the population. Do you want to take a chance? Surely not.

First, consult your doctor. He or she will tell you exactly which vaccines you need. But for you to have an idea, here we give you a list of the vaccines that all diabetics need and another one that could help you in certain cases.

The vaccines you need:

  • Influenza or flu : need to apply the vaccine once a year. Although the vaccine does not protect you 100%, it makes it much harder for you to get the flu or flu during the six months after it is applied. The vaccine takes about two weeks to start protecting you (it’s the time it takes for the body to make the antibodies). If you have a cold or have another respiratory illness, expect to be healthy again before getting vaccinated. And do not vaccinate yourself if you are allergic to eggs.
  • Pneumonia or pneumonia :(PCV13 or PPSV23). Diabetics definitely need to receive the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) because they are more likely to get pneumonia and die from the disease. The vaccine also protects them from other infections caused by the same bacteria (the pneumococcus that can also cause meningitis, sinusitis and eye infections). You can get the pneumonia vaccine at any time of the year. For most people, a single application protects them for life. But if the person is less than 65 years old and suffers from a chronic disease such as diabetes, they should consult their doctor if they need to be vaccinated 5 or 10 years after the first dose. Adults with certain high-risk conditions need to receive the vaccine in their PCV13 form.
  • Hepatitis B : if you are under 60 and have never received or completed a series of HepB vaccine, you need to get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you are over 60, consult your doctor if it suits you.
  • Tetanus , diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis, Tdap, Td) : all adults need to receive once a lifetime a dose of the Tdap vaccine ( the whooping cough vaccine  for adults). Thereafter, a booster ( “need booster “) Td every 10 years. In case you have not received at least three tetanus and diphtheria injections at some time in your life, or have a deep or dirty wound, consult your doctor.

The vaccines you might need in certain cases:

It is important that you consult with your doctor to advise you if you also need to receive any of the vaccines from the following list:

  • Hepatitis A (HepA) : You need this vaccine if you have a specific risk factor that makes you susceptible to hepatitis A virus infection. The vaccine is usually given in two doses, with an interval of 6 months between one and other.
  • Human Papillomavirus  (HPV) : You need this vaccine if you are a woman of 26 years or younger, or you are a man of 21 years or younger. Men from 22 to 26 years of age with a risk condition (see your doctor) should also get vaccinated. Any other man from 22 to 26 who wants to protect himself can also get vaccinated. The vaccine is applied in 3 doses distributed over a period of 6 months.
  • Measles , mumps  and rubella (MMR): You need a dose if you were born in 1957 or later. You may need a second dose (check with your doctor).
  • Meningococcus  (MCV4 or conjugated meningococcal, MPSV4 or antimeningococcal polysaccharide): The meningococcal vaccine protects against meningococcus, the bacteria that infects the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain. The infection is very dangerous and must be treated immediately with antibiotics. The MCV4 is the vaccine of preference for people from 2 to 55 years. The MPSV4 is the only one approved in the United States for people over 55 years of age .
  • Chickenpox : You need to vaccinate if you are an adult and have never had chickenpox or have not been vaccinated against it. The vaccine is applied in two doses.
  • Shingles  (or herpes zoster) : If you are over 60 years old, it is recommended that you receive 1 single dose of this vaccine.

Do not neglect your health and try to receive the vaccines you need. If you are going to travel, you should also check with your doctor about how you can protect yourself, and if there are other vaccines that are required according to the country you are going to visit. Remember that your diabetes is a chronic condition that requires certain special care, and vaccines are part of them. They are there to protect you, do not waste it.
Update of an article originally published in 2013.

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