Diabetes charity’s flu jab appeal

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A DIABETES charity is pleading with Wiganers suffering with the condition to make sure they get their flu jab.

Diabetes UK has warned that lives are being put at risk because people with diabetes are not getting their free flu vaccine.

They say nearly a third of people under 65 with diabetes are not getting the free flu vaccine, despite being almost six times more likely to die from flu than someone the same age who does not have the condition. Now the charity is urging everyone with diabetes to take up the offer of a free flu jab, which is currently available to all those over 65 and other groups including people with diabetes. Uptake of the flu vaccine is particularly poor in children with diabetes.

Pav Kalsi, clinical advisor at Diabetes UK says: “People with diabetes are a high-risk group when it comes to getting flu, so it is important they are vaccinated as soon as possible this winter and understand the importance of being protected.

“Having flu can really upset diabetes control and cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate.

“This can leave people with diabetes open to many serious health problems, including complications of flu such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

“If you have diabetes and haven’t already been invited for a free flu jab, contact your GP surgery to find out when they are holding clinics.”

Last month it was revealed that the number of Wigan people suffering with diabetes is far higher than first thought – with 100 new cases diagnosed every month.

“National charity Diabetes UK published figures this month estimating that the borough is home to 13,468 diabetics.

“But Wigan’s director of public health Dr Kate Ardern also revealed that the condition is an even bigger one – with more than 17,000 patients recorded.

“To get your flu jab and for advice contact your GP.