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NEWS

NEWS

REPORT

Reasons why you should have the flu vaccination.

Not just another jab

L

ast year, around 15m

people received a jab

against seasonal flu but

ministers hope this will rise

to 30m this winter. The

Government is aiming to double its winter

flu vaccination programme, with free jabs

for those aged 50 and over and 11-yearolds. This is on top of at-risk groups

such

as people with asthma, heart disease

and diabetes, and anyone living with

somebody on the Covid-19 shielded list.

Flu jab eligibility 2020

• People aged 50 and over

• Pregnant women

• People with certain conditions

• Carers or those in care homes

• Frontline health and social care

workers

• Children over six months with a longterm health condition

• Children aged two and three

• Children in primary school

• Children aged 11 by the end of

August this year

• Anyone living in a household with

anyone on the NHS shielded patient

list

Flu and diabetes

Diabetes UK's website states that

everyone with diabetes - including those

who are pregnant - should get their free

NHS flu jab to reduce their risk of getting

the flu. This is because people with

diabetes are more at risk of getting the flu

and having diabetes will make it worse.

You can't get the flu from the flu jab. But it

takes two weeks to work - so you could

still get the flu during that time. That's why

it's important to get the jab as soon as

you can.

Flu is serious and can make your blood

sugar go all over the place. If your blood

sugar isn't within target, the effects of flu

can be dragged out and increase your

risk of developing serious complications

like pneumonia. This puts you at risk of

having to go into hospital. Getting a flu jab

will help you avoid this.

A vaccine protects you against the

most common types of flu currently

around. As this changes each year, it

means you need a new jab each year too.

If you have coronavirus (Covid-19) you

shouldn't have the jab until you're better.

We don't know whether the flu jab will

offer any protection against Covid-19,

which is why it's important to continue

to follow local guidance. But we do

know that the flu jab is the best way of

protecting yourself against flu.

Tips for the flu jab

You need to be aware of the following:

If you have an illness or infection -

including Covid-19 - and you feel like you

have a fever, don't get the flu jab. Wait

until you're better or speak to a healthcare

professional about when to have it.

If you've had a serious reaction to a

flu jab in the past, tell the nurse and they

will give you a different jab - don't just go

without it.

The jab is made using eggs, but

if you're allergic to eggs, you can get

an 'egg-free' jab. Your healthcare

professional can help you find out more

about this.

How to book

Book your flu jab appointment for early

autumn if possible (September onwards).

Contact your GP to book your jab if they

haven't already got in touch. Or if it's

quicker and easier, get one from your local

pharmacy, like Tesco or Boots.

http://bit.ly/duk_flu

jab health benefits

Researchers from Denmark analysed

the relationship between flu vaccinations

and cardiovascular outcomes in people

with diabetes. The data showed that the

vaccine was associated with a reduced

risk of all-cause death, cardiovascular

death, and death from acute myocardial

infarction (AMI) or stroke, suggesting the

flu vaccination may improve outcomes in

patients with diabetes.

While diabetes and flu are associated

with increased risk of AMI and

stroke, few studies have explored the

relationship between flu vaccinations and

cardiovascular outcomes in people with

diabetes.

Researchers used a modified cohort

design with a season-specific approach,

given that epidemiological data show that

almost all influenza activity in Denmark

occurs from December through March.

Data were collected from all influenza

seasons (December 1 through April 1)

between 2007 and 2016. The analysis

revealed flu vaccinations were associated

with:

• reduced risks of all-cause death

• reduced risks of cardiovascular death

• reduced risks of death from AMI or

stroke

• a reduced risk of being admitted to

hospital with acute complications

associated with diabetes

• reduced risk of hospitalisation for

influenza or pneumonia during

follow-up.

Study was published in Diabetes Care.

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