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Don't put it off - it's not worth the risk

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The annual flu vaccination campaign to target ‘at risk’ groups, including people with diabetes, has been launched by Public Health England.The health watchdog is urging people with diabetes, under the age of 65, to get their free flu jab as soon as possible.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.Simon O’Neill, Diabetes UK’s Director of Health Intelligence, said: “We know that people under the age of 65 with diabetes are about five times more likely to die from the flu than those who don’t have the condition in this age group. That is why, even if you manage your condition well, it is really important that you have the flu jab. The vaccine protects against different strains of flu which evolve each year so you mustn’t be complacent and think, ‘well I won’t bother because I had it last year’.“Last flu season almost a third of people under the age of 65 with diabetes failed to get their free flu jab. I’d urge people not to put it off – if you haven’t already been invited for a free flu jab contact your GP surgery and find out when they are holding clinics.”Pregnant women are also in the ‘at risk’ category so if you have diabetes and are considering pregnancy, or are already pregnant, you have even more reason to ask your GP about getting the flu vaccination.

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