Every year, around this time, I have a conversation with myself about whether or not I should get the flu vaccine. And every year I make a different decision. Two signs of insanity right there; talking to myself and complete indecision. Whose worried? Not me! Oops, there I go again, talking to myself. 😆
Should everyone with diabetes get the flu vaccines? Well that is completely totally up to you.
So far, I’ve only gotten it once and that was the winter I was pregnant with my now 13 year old daughter. Since then, I maintained that if it’s not broke don’t fix it and I never get flu so I didn’t bother.
Except last year, I had clocked up one or two flus that knocked me out for a week at a time, I decided that I was going to get it. However, when I went to my GP, I already had a cold and decided to wait but then never got around to it. I’m not sick very often so I figure the odds are still on my side. I do know as I approach 65 I will decide that I’m better off vaccinated.
This year I’m still undecided but maybe swaying towards the “I will” side.
If you are like me and still thinking will I, won’t I, here’s some additional information for about it
IS THE FLU VACCINE FREE FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES?
“Yes” and “No” because nothing is ever straight forward in our health system.
Yes, the flu vaccine itself is free to everyone in the “At Risk” groups which includes people with diabetes.
No, because if you do not have a medical card, a GP services card or a HAA card, you will have to pay for someone to jab it in.
A lot of pharmacy chains offer the flu vaccine so you do have the option to walk into one of those and have it done there and then without making an appointment. Next time you are collecting your diabetes supplies you can ask.
It’s also worth mentioning that the HSE have also launched a Pneumococcal Vaccine campaign which shouldn’t be confused with the Flu vaccine. I would like to thank our guest speaker, Paul, from our last diabetes support group meeting for clarifying this information for us.
WHAT IS THE Pneumococcal Vaccine?
“Pneumococcal disease is an umbrella term for a range of illnesses caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae (also known as the pneumo bug). It is a major cause of serious infection that can lead to death, particularly amongst the elderly, the very young, those who have an absent or non-functioning spleen, those with long term medical conditions*, or those with weakened immunity.”
However, the pneumococcal vaccination is USUALLY A SINGLE VACCINATION (ie once in your lifetime dose) for those at-risk. The most at risk group are children under age 2 years and adults over 65. Once you get it once you should be protected for the rest of your life. There are exceptions to this guideline so if you would like to know more ask your GP or visit http://pneumo.ie/