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FOR RELEASE: January 23, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn

It's Not Too Late for Persons with Diabetes to Get Flu and Pneumonia Shots

For Oklahomans with diabetes, the flu and pneumonia can mean more than aches and pains. It can mean being sick longer, more hospital bills, missing work, or even death. In fact, Oklahomans with diabetes are three times more likely to die with complications of the flu or pneumonia than people who do not have diabetes.

Oklahomans with diabetes need to make certain they get a flu shot each year, generally between the months of November and March. In addition, for most people with diabetes, a pneumococcal vaccination is also a good idea. This shot protects against pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common form of pneumonia requiring hospitalization. A one-dose shot provides lasting protection, but some individuals with diabetes require a second dose.

This year, thousands of Oklahomans with diabetes will have problems associated with the flu and pneumonia. Don't be one of them. State health officials stress that if you have diabetes, it's not too late to protect yourself against the flu and pneumonia. These potentially life-saving vaccinations are available at no charge for people with diabetes at local health departments. Visit your physician's office or local health department today.

Health officials advise that you talk to your doctor before getting a flu shot or any other type of vaccination. For more information about diabetes and complications from flu and pneumonia, contact the Diabetes Control and Prevention Program of the Oklahoma State Department of Health at 1-888-669-5934; your health care provider; or your county health department.


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