Pneumonia vaccine

I work in public health policy and lately I've been doing a project about adult vaccines. I was very surprised to learn that all people with diabetes are supposed to get the pneumonia vaccine. I have never had my endo, my primary care doc or my gyno mention this and I have not received this vaccine. Has anyone under 65 received it?

The immediate problem that put me in the hospital and uncovered my T2 was pneumonia. At my first follow up visit I requested being given the pneumonia vaccine. My doc told me it was only recommended for those over 65, but was happy to give it to me anyway. P.S. I was 59 at the time.

Nope. But I rarely get a cold, so it isn't something I'd worry about for myself.

My Dr. made me get one, and also added a new one last week, think it was some kind of tetanus/diptheria shot for whooping cough. She told me that, at my next visit, she would be giving me one for hepatitis. Apparently, that has been added to the list of recommended vaccines for diabetics.

Sue, the human pin cushion.

I don't believe in "my doctor made anything! If I don't like my doctor's recommendations he can either convince me or I won't do it. It's my body. Sorry, just pushed a button with me. If we all did everything that is "recommended for diabetics" we'd be wearing special expensive socks and shoes, not using any over the counter meds and taking all sorts of extra medications. Not going in hot tubs or traveling internationally, never leaving the house...oh, ok, I'm going too far!

Hi Jackie,

I had a physical from my primary care physician recently, and he recommended and gave me two vaccinations; one for pneumonia and one for shingles. I hadn't heard of either. I am a beliver in flu shots each year, and after beginning to get them years ago, it seems as if I never get sick in the winter, or if I do, it is far less serious.

Yes, the pneumonia vaccine is recommended. Diabetics are more likely to develop pneumonia as a complication of the flu or other illness. And of course, if we get pneumonia, we are more likely to become severely ill or die.

And now a little vaccination PSA (sorry, can't resist) - Due to hype and hysteria around vaccines, more and more children are not getting vaccinated these days, and this is causing outbreaks of diseases that we've not seen in years. It is VERY IMPORTANT that everyone get recommended vaccines, including booster shots. If you got an MMR vaccine as a kid, you need a booster as an adult, as you lose immunity over time. Not long ago at work, we had an outbreak of whooping cough among several adults. I was later informed that this outbreak was traced back to a family whose child was not vaccinated. Ugh.

Keep in mind that vaccines don't just protect you - they also protect the people around you. It is possible to catch a communicable disease and never even know you have it. While you may be symptom-free, you can pass it on to other folks, including other diabetics who are at high risk for complications or death. This is made worse by health professionals who have never seen things like measles or mumps (because vaccines have been so successful!) and often fail to identify such conditions in time to properly quarantine people who have these contagious conditions.

Please, please, please get all your vaccinations!! In the U.S., the CVS Minute Clinics can provide these vaccines and they accept just about all insurance plans. In addition, many public health departments operated by counties and states can also provide these vaccines.

No, you're not going too far. I have 3 pairs of those nasty shoes. All they ever made me do was fall down. Have been wearing sandals for 4 months, doing water aerobics AND sitting in a hot tub and my feet are doing so much better than when they were trapped in those shoes.

Have you been sitting in the cubicle next to me? lol. My job involves pushing states to pay for all vaccines and to implement awareness campaigns of the need for boosters in adults.
And yes, most public health departments will give you a vaccine if you don't have insurance or steer you toward the local Community Health Center or free clinic that will and if you do have insurance, your doctor or a retail clinic will do it.

I switched to a new GP several years ago and was also surprised when he gave me a pneumonia vaccine and said it's recommended for all diabetics. I was in my late 20s at the time. I hardly ever get sick, but I figure I'd rather not get something like pneumonia because I've heard things like that can be MUCH worse for people with diabetes.

On a related note, is this a one-time vaccine, or is it needed every so often? I know, probably a question for my doctor if it comes up again, but I'm just curious. When I got it my arm swelled up hugely and got very red, sore, and itchy. It stayed that way for over a week. I ended up going to a walk-in clinic and they just said it was my immune system over-reacting, but it makes me nervous of getting the vaccine again, or related ones, if needed.

Jen, this is an interesting point. I NEVER get "sick," have never had the flu, for example, I have always had a strong immune system. It is my understanding that I ended up with T2 diabetes after an autoimmune event that also left me with severe neuropathy in a short period of time. Also I've heard that many people are diabetic because it's an autoimmune effect. So if your immune system is ultra strong, why do they think you need vaccines? I've seen others get totally knocked out by flu vaccines and then end up getting it anyway. I knew a nurse who worked in a convalescent hospital who said they'd go around and give all the old folks flu shots and a few always died soon thereafter. It makes one wonder.

I refuse a flu shot every year & won't be getting a pneumonia vax either. The worse type of pneumonia is bacterial, for which there is no vaccine, of course. I've had viral pneumonia twice. Since my own immune system hasn't developed immunity from having had it, I question how effective a vax would be anyway.

I don't believe vaccines are safe or necessary & bristle at being told what I must have. If I followed medical advice, I'd be taking unneeded statins for perfectly good blood lipids, daily aspirin & eating an ADA diet. Honestly, am tired of being a receptacle for big pharma profits.

Since I've gotten D levels up, I haven't had even a sniffle in years. My husband's a college professor & frequently catches the flu & colds from students. I've avoided getting anything he has.

LOL...I work in public health policy as well. I recently started to look into getting all my vaccines updated because a family member has decided that she and her husband are not going to be vaccinating their child due to the fear of autism. Don't get me started....I tried to explain that all the evidence indicates that vaccines DO NOT cause autism or other neurological disorders, as believed by Jenny McCarthy and folks like her. I also tried to explain that any risks associated with the vaccine are FAR LOWER than the risks of getting things like measles, mumps, rubella, etc and developing the really scary complications from those conditions (like encephalitis, which can cause severe brain damage and death).

The problem is that our generation (i.e., folks under the age of 40) have never seen the horrors that some of these diseases caused previous generations. We've never seen people disabled by polio or known kids who died from the measles or whooping cough. So we think it's ok to not get our kids vaccinated. This scares me.

Also, these diseases (including polio) still exist in many parts of the world. They are just one plane ride away from the U.S.

If they are old folks, the risk of them dying with or without the vaccine is pretty good. Just because two things happen at the same time does not mean one caused the other (correlation DOES NOT necessarily mean causation). If those elderly people had died and not received a flu shot, no one would think to blame it on the vaccine.

A flu shot will not protect you against every strain of the flu, but it is going to protect you against whatever strain is most prevalent that year.

In addition, vaccines are not just for you. YOU may not get sick, but you can spread communicable diseases to others. For example, if you are not vaccinated, you can actually contract something like rubella, flu, or whooping cough and have no obvious symptoms (you can even be completely asymptomatic!). However, you can spread that disease to others around you. There are some people (i.e., those who have had organ transplants) who cannot get certain vaccines. There are some folks who, even after getting vaccinated, still do not build up enough immunity. Therefore, a population has to maintain a 90% vaccination rate in order to create herd immunity and prevent communicable diseases from spreading. This protects those who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons and those who are not responsive to the vaccine.

Basically, this. It's also my understanding that it's impossible to actually get the flu (or whatever else) from a vaccine. You might get a vaccine and still get the flu, but it's not the vaccine itself that caused it.

Also, even though I seem to have an overactive/strong immune system (Type 1, many allergies, hardly ever get sick), I'd still rather get a vaccine that decreases my risk of getting sick. I've heard lots of stories of diabetics ending up hospitalized for "only" a flu or some other illness that would be minor for most other people.

I also work with many elderly people and people with multiple medical conditions. Even if I wasn't diabetic myself, I'd probably still be recommended to get a vaccine every year because I work with a vulnerable population.

My daughter is 3 and she got it. I wouldn't have known about it except my baby was going for her routine immunizations and my 3 yr old was with me. T1 came up in conversation and it was the public health nurse that told me about it. I discussed it with our dr at a later appt and decided to go ahead with it for her too.

I had it when I turned 60.

Yep, you are right on all counts. And being around other people who are vulnerable to complications from the flu is a definite reason to get the vaccine. Again, if you're not vaccinated, you can carry the virus and have no outward symptoms and still pass it on to others.