Recommended Vaccines for People With Type 2 Diabetes
It is that time of year when people start thinking about vaccinations. Since people with type 2 diabetes are more vulnerable to certain infections, vaccinations are highly recommended.
Important vaccines for people with type 2 diabetes
In this article, we review a list of recommended vaccines for people with type 2 diabetes. Due to its extensive coverage, the COVID-19 vaccine is not outlined below (but is still recommended).
Your pharmacist, doctor, and diabetes educator are excellent sources of information for any vaccination-related questions. If you did not know your vaccine history and were born outside North America, your doctor may suggest that you get vaccinated anyway. For those with complete vaccine records, check that you have received the below vaccines or the booster shots.
Hepatitis B vaccine (Engerix-B, Recombivax HB, and Heplisav-B)
There are various reasons why the hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for people with type 2 diabetes. Because hep B is blood-borne and transmitted through blood contact, there have been outbreaks of hepatitis B in nursing home settings among residents receiving blood glucose monitoring.
The current recommendation is that people under the age of 60 receive the series of the hepatitis B vaccine. The series is a total of three doses. Note that if you have not yet had your hepatitis A vaccine, you can get the combination vaccine (Twinrix), which protects you against hepatitis A and B viruses.1-3
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix)
The HPV vaccine is generally recommended for people under the age of 26. However, people older than 26 can still get the vaccine. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk factors.4
Influenza vaccine (various brands)
A dose of the flu vaccine is recommended every year for most people, especially for those with type 2 diabetes. Flu shots are available yearly because people with diabetes are at a higher risk of flu complications, such as hospitalization and death. While the flu vaccine does not completely prevent complications, it reduces the risk of severe complications.5
Pneumococcal vaccines (Pneumovax 23, Prevnar 13)
There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines. Both vaccines reduce the risk of pneumonia but target different strains of pneumonia. In general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends one dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar 13) in adults 65 and over. It also recommends the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax 23).6
Tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (Tdap) (Adacel and Boostrix)
Most people need a booster of the tetanus vaccine every ten years. In addition, women need a dose during pregnancy.4
Herpes zoster (Shingles) (Shingrix)
If you are 50 years or older, you should consider getting the Shingles vaccine. The vaccine is a 2-part series. Shingles is a virus that can lead to severe complications in people with diabetes. These complications may lead to long-lasting nerve pain or blindness.4
The importance of vaccines
It may be tempting to delay getting these vaccines. It is overwhelming to go through vaccine records to find what's missing. However, there are resources to help you. Public health facilities and pharmacies have experience with reviewing vaccination records and can make the process easier.
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