LETTER: Diabetics urged to take up free flu jab

As we head further into October Diabetes UK is recommending everyone with diabetes takes up the offer of a free flu jab from their GP as soon as possible. People with diabetes are categorised as a ‘high-risk group’ when it comes to getting flu, which means they are entitled to receive a free immunisation – aged six months and up. But nearly a third of people with diabetes under the age of 65 are still not getting the jab. Having flu can really upset diabetes control and cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate. This can leave people with diabetes open to many health problems, including complications of flu such as pneumonia and bronchitis. We know that people with diabetes under the age of 65 are about five times more likely to die from the flu than those who don’t have the condition in this age group. It really is vital to have the flu jab every year as the vaccine protects against different strains of flu which evolve each year. So if you have diabetes and you haven’t already been invited for a free flu jab, please take the time to contact your GP surgery to find out when they are holding clinics.

Jill Steaton

Regional manager, South East, Diabetes UK