Flu Vaccination Reminders Prove Effective for Patients With Diabetes

DECEMBER 18, 2018
Gail Connor Roche
Influenza vaccinations among patients with diabetes rose by 20% when they were notified about scheduling their flu shot, according to a new study.

The findings, which assessed the benefits of healthcare providers issuing scripted flu shot reminders to patients, further demonstrated the need for active intervention in the face of vaccination rates among susceptible patients, including diabetes, study co-author Vishaal Kumar Dovedi, a medical student at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, said in an interview with MD Magazine®.

“The interventions used in this audit highlight the effectiveness of patient notification, in particular telephone calls, in improving this,” Dovedi said.

People with diabetes are estimated to be 6 times more likely to be hospitalized during influenza epidemics than their nondiabetic counterparts—a rate which institutions such as the World Health Organization call attention to in efforts to improve vaccination rates.

“Diabetic patients have impaired immune systems as a result of the high levels of circulating glucose in their blood,” Dovedi said. “This increases the susceptibility to infections including the influenza virus.”

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