People with diabetes are being urged to get the free flu jab this winter.
Lincolnshire East Commissioning Group (CCG) is warning that people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing serious flu-related complications.
The virus can put added stress on the body affecting blood sugar levels. Even those who manage their diabetes well can be at risk of serious complications from flu resulting in hospitalisation, and in some cases it can be fatal.
More than 18,000 people in Lincolnshire East CCG area are living with diabetes.
Flu is also a particular threat to people with other long term conditions such as low immunity, respiratory illnesses such as asthma and COPD, and heart, kidney, liver or neurological disease.
Anyone with a long term condition should have the free flu vaccine even if they are feeling fit and healthy.
Dr Andrew Doddrell, Chair of Lincolnshire East CCG, said:
“If you have a long term health condition, even one that is well managed, you are eligible for the flu vaccination free or charge. It’s free because you need it.
“Flu can make the effects of your existing condition worse and make complications like pneumonia more likely. It is vital that those who are eligible have the flu vaccine annually as the vaccine protects against different strains of flu which can change or evolve each year.
“Don’t underestimate flu and make an appointment at your GP surgery for the free vaccination as soon as possible.”
For more information on the NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign visit www.nhs.uk/staywell