Managing Type 2 Diabetes with Vaccinations

By American Diabetes Association

Get a flu shot each year to try to prevent influenza, which can be more severe for people over 65 years of age or those with an underlying condition like diabetes. Ask about vaccinations against pneumococcal pneumonia, which is a common complication of the flu and can cause dangerous infections.

The American Diabetes Association also recommends that people with diabetes 19–59 years old have the hepatitis B vaccine because they are at higher risk for this infection. Get the Tdap (whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus), Zoster (shingles) if 60 years of age or older, Varicella (chicken pox), and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccines.

You can find a vaccination list schedule for adults and children at the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s a handy list you can refer to in order to make sure you’re getting the right vaccinations to keep you healthy:

  • Flu vaccine: A shot once a year, ideally in the fall. Doctor’s offices and pharmacies carry the flu vaccine, which is reformulated each year to combat the most common strains expected that year.
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia: The two types of pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines are PCV13 and PPSV23. Vaccination with PCV13 is recommended for children before age 2 years. People with diabetes ages 2–64 years should also receive PPSV23. For all adults 65 years or older, regardless of vaccination history, an additional PPSV23 vaccination is necessary.
  • Hepatitis B: A series of three vaccines for adults with diabetes ages 19–59 years (may be considered in people 60 years and older). Given as a 3-dose series.
  • Tdap: For whooping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus. All adults who did not get Tdap during adolescence should get one dose. A Tdap booster should be given every 10 years.
  • Zoster: For shingles if you’re 60 or older. It’s a one-time dose.
  • Varicella: To prevent chicken pox. If never received as a child, 1–2 doses, with timing determined by the doctor.
  • MMR: To prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. If never received as a child, ask your provider about her recommendation.