Posted by ABC News Spanish on Sunday, July 20, 2018 14:03:04 The number of people with diabetes who die from the flu shot rose from 14,823 in 2016 to 23,872 in 2021, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the numbers are far less than the number of deaths from flu-related complications, flu vaccine advocates say the increase is an encouraging sign.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, said this year’s pandemic is still “likely to produce more severe and long-lasting influenza complications than previous flu seasons.”
Experts say the more the flu can spread, the more likely people are to develop a pandemic flu virus.
“We know that if you get sick, there is a greater likelihood of getting sick in the months after the flu season begins,” said Dr. Robert J. Wahlstrom, professor of preventive medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.
It’s important that people understand that influenza-related deaths from the vaccine are a small number compared to the number who will die from flu complications, Wahlstrum said.
Experts in flu vaccines say the flu vaccine is the most effective vaccine available to protect people against flu-like symptoms, including flu-induced pneumonia.
“This year, people are still getting the flu and the flu vaccines are working,” Wahlststrom said.
The CDC recommends flu shots for everyone, regardless of how sick they are, and the vaccine is also offered at no cost to anyone who doesn’t have insurance.
The vaccine is administered in two separate injections that are injected in two different doses in the arm, and in a nasal spray that is also administered.
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Preventives, flu vaccines may have been effective in preventing the coronavirus that caused the pandemic, but Wahlstorm said people should get vaccinated regardless of whether they are currently sick.
Wahlstrom said people can’t predict the exact date they will get sick from a flu-shot, and it is possible that people could be exposed to other viruses as they get older, especially in warmer climates, so the vaccine should only be administered at the end of a flu season.
He also said the flu-vaccine will likely continue to be administered in high-risk populations for people with chronic health conditions, including people with heart conditions and people with kidney disease.
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