Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z

CDC Media Relations
Media Home | Contact Us
US Department of Health and Human Services logo and link

Media Relations Links
About Us
Media Contact
Frequently Asked Questions
Media Site Map

CDC News
Press Release Library
MMWR Summaries
B-Roll Footage
Upcoming Events

Related Links
Centers at CDC
Data and Statistics
Health Topics A-Z
Image Library
Publications, Software and Other Products
Global Health Odyssey
Find your state or local health department
HHS News
National Health Observances
Visit the FirstGov Web Site
Div. of Media Relations
1600 Clifton Road
MS D-14
Atlanta, GA 30333
(404) 639-3286
Fax (404) 639-7394


September 14, 1998
Contact: CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 6393286
Lisa Swenarski

Flu Shots Can Be a Life Preserver for People With Diabetes, CDC Says

Atlanta, GA People with diabetes are about three times more likely to die from influenza (flu) and pneumonia than those without diabetes, yet more than half of people with diabetes did not get a flu shot in a recent year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages people with diabetes to get a flu shot before the flu season, which generally runs November through March.

"People may be unaware that diabetes can make their immune system more vulnerable to severe complications from flu including death," said Dr. Frank Vinicor, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at CDC. "A flu shot is an easy, safe, and preventive measure that people with diabetes should take to protect themselves from the risks associated with the flu."

"Flu shots do not contain a live virus so they cannot cause the flu," said Tamara Kicera, deputy chief for program development and evaluation, Adult Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch of the CDC's National Immunization Program. "Getting a flu shot is essential for people with diabetes. For other people, such as family members of people with diabetes, the shot not only protects them from the flu, it can help them avoid passing the flu along to their loved ones. A flu shot can be a good idea for anyone who wants to reduce their risk of illness, but people with chronic diseases should be sure to ask their doctor about this vaccination."

CDC also recommends that people with diabetes receive a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine to protect against the most common form of pneumonia because they are at greater risk for several comorbidity factors including heart disease and renal failure. Annually, 10,000 to 30,000 people with diabetes die from complications resulting from flu and pneumonia.

Diabetes is a serious public health problem that affects approximately 16 million people in the United States. Unfortunately, only two-thirds of these people have been diagnosed, leaving a third who are not under care for the disorder.

CDC recently launched a public service program, called With Diabetes, Prevention Is Control, which includes radio and television broadcasts and print public service announcements, as well as educational materials to be distributed through state health departments.

Media Home | Contact Us

CDC Home | Search | Health Topics A-Z

This page last reviewed

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention