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Diabetes UK Cymru urges those with the condition to get their free flu jabs in time for this year’s flu season

Diabetes UK Cymru are calling for everyone with diabetes, including those who are pregnant, to take up the offer of free a flu jab to avoid life-threatening diabetes complications winter illnesses can lead to.

Having a serious infection such as flu causes blood sugar levels to rise so high that they become dangerous, which is why people with diabetes in particular are at serious risk. Even for those who manage their diabetes well, dangerously high sugar levels can lead to acute complications which can often go unrecognised and be fatal for many.

 

The flu jab gives someone with diabetes the best chance of fighting off the flu. Without it, flu can also develop to pneumonia or bronchitis, which can often require hospital admission.

 

Yet over a third1 of people with diabetes missed out on the vaccine last year, according to data from Public Health Wales, despite it being one of the 15 healthcare essentials that every person with diabetes is entitled to for free through the NHS every year.

 

Dai Williams, National Director at Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “It can take up to two weeks for a flu jab to work. It is essential that everyone with diabetes gets their free flu jab as soon as possible to avoid the illness and eliminate the risk of life-threatening complications as flu hits the UK this winter.”

 

We recommend that everyone with diabetes gets in touch with their GP or local community pharmacy as soon as possible to get their free flu jab and avoid the winter illness and its possible complications.”

 

For more information about diabetes and flu, please visit our website www.diabetes.org.uk/seasonal-flu.

 

(1Data from Public Health Wales showed an uptake of 61.4 % for patients with diabetes aged under 65 for winter season 2017 to 2018)