Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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Importance of Vaccines for People with Diabetes

People living with diabetes are at increased risk of developing serious complications from vaccine-preventable diseases. These include influenza, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis B, shingles, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. 

The problem is that many of them don't know it. Case in point: The influenza vaccine. The MADIABETES cohort study found that only 66% of people with diabetes received the flu vaccine; and the higher someone’s A1C, the less likely they were to get it. The most common reason: they didn’t feel they were at risk. 

Practice Paper

Vaccination Practices for Adults with Diabetes

vaccine diabetes practice paper

This newly revised practice paper is designed to help diabetes care and education specialists understand the importance of having a vaccines conversation because:   

  1. People with diabetes are 6 times more likely to be hospitalized due to complications from the flu or pneumonia.
  2. People with diabetes are 3 times more likely to die due to complications from the flu or pneumonia
  3. Because of #1 and #2, diabetes educators must help make vaccinations obtainable for people with diabetes. Simply having a list of places where the vaccinations are being offered, cost, etc., can go a long way.

Featured Blogs

Get your yearly vaccine check-up

Hepatitis B: As few as two shots for a lifetime of protection

People with diabetes are twice as likely to acquire an acute Hepatitis B virus infection but vaccination offers much needed protection against this deadly virus. Leslie Kolb, RN, BSN, MBA, ADCES Chief Science and Practice Officer and William Schaffner, MD, NFID Medical Director, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine share compelling evidence on reasons to get vaccinated. 


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How to Talk to People with Diabetes who are Reluctant to Getting Vaccinated

People with diabetes are more susceptible to vaccine-preventable illness and diseases than the general public; unfortunately, many PWDs are not aware of this risk to their health. Educational visits are an opportune time for diabetes care and education specialists to promote vaccines as part of an effective strategy for preventative care. Dr. Melissa Young shares 5 tips you can use to promote vaccines to people who might be reluctant to get vaccinated.

Featured Vlog

Preventing Serious Complications in People with Diabetes and Heart Disease

Diabetes care and education specialists increasingly address and tend to the cardiovascular health of people with diabetes, so it is important to stay aware of the risk of severe complications that people with diabetes and people with heart disease face from vaccine-preventable diseases. Learn more about 5 recommended vaccines for people with diabetes and heart disease in this video with Barb Schreiner, PhD, RN, BC-ADM, CDCES.

From the CDC: The 5 Vaccines People with Diabetes Need

ADCES has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to spread the word on the importance of vaccines for people living with diabetes. To help with this effort, the CDC has created an engaging animated infographic, below. We encourage you to use it when educating your patients about the role of vaccines in keeping them healthy. Additionally, you can find the information here

The CDC has also just released new immunization schedules for adults and children

CDC Vaccine info


COVID-19-Related Vaccines Guidance 

The CDC has released recommendations related to pediatric and adult vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Delivery of Adult Clinical Preventive Services, Including Immunizations, During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Delivery of some clinical preventive services, such as immunizations, requires face to face encounters and in areas with community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, these should be postponed except when:

  • An in-person visit must be scheduled for some other purpose and the clinical preventive service can be delivered during that visit with no additional risk; or
  • An individual patient and their clinician believe that there is a compelling need to receive the service based on an assessment that the potential benefit outweighs the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 

Maintaining Childhood Immunizations During COVID-19 Pandemic

Ensuring the delivery of newborn and well-child care, including childhood immunization, requires different strategies. Healthcare providers in communities affected by COVID-19 are using strategies to separate well visits from sick visits. Examples include:

  • Scheduling well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon
  • Separating patients spatially, such as by placing patients with sick visits in different areas of the clinic or another location from patients with well visits. 
  • Collaborating with providers in the community to identify separate locations for holding well visits for children. 

Because of personal, practice, or community circumstances related to COVID-19, some providers may not be able to provide well child visits, including provision of  immunizations, for all patients in their practice. If a practice can provide only limited well child visits, healthcare providers are encouraged to prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) when possible. CDC is monitoring the situation and will continue to provide guidance.


ADCES Education

Recorded Webinar: Immunization Education: Turning a No Into a Yes

Immunization education is now a part of the curriculum for accredited DSMES programs. This session will arm you with the background and tools to address participant resistance to getting vaccinated and provide a review of recent epidemiological findings related to risk reduction through vaccination of people with diabetes. .5 CE, 30 minutes

ADCES Partnerships

Working with the CDC, National Federation of Infectious Diseases, Connecting Nurses, Mytonomy and the European Scientific Working Group (ESWI), we are helping to elevate their efforts and spread the word about the importance of vaccines.

The CDC has been focused educating Americans with diabetes about the five key vaccines they need with an online and print vaccine guide.

The European Scientific Working Group (ESWI) offers a wealth of resources that, while focused on Europe, are useful for all healthcare professionals. ADCES was honored to have a representative participating in the recent conference in Belguim. eswi.org

We co-wrote a blog post on the importance of Hep B vaccine with the NFID, who also offer resources on flu and chronic health conditions

Connecting Nurses and Mytonomy created a series of videos on Understanding the Flu Vaccines and Your Role in insuring people are vaccinated. Access the videos
Note: You will need to create a username and password for access

Tips for Spreading the Word about the Importance of Vaccines

  • Discuss vaccinations during an annual review of exams, labs, and immunizations. Weave it into a conversation about reducing the risks of illness and infection.
  • Use the patient education tool from the CDC, above, during diabetes education sessions, in educational racks, and in other locations where it will be accessible to people with diabetes.
  • Volunteer to give a talk about vaccinations for people with diabetes at a local community center, church, or health fair. 
  • Enlist peer educators or health aides to discuss the increased risk of infection that people with diabetes face.
  • Include a note in patient records that you spoke about vaccinations, along with a request for follow up by the primary care provider. 
  • Mention the risk of hepatitis B infection when you discuss blood glucose monitoring. Emphasize the availability of the vaccine when teaching about the safe handling of equipment. 
  • Add a question about vaccination to your patient questionnaire or self-assessment and discuss it during an individual session. 
  • Incorporate vaccine information into support group discussions about sick days and prevention. You may want to time the discussion with the start of flu season.

ADCES in Practice Articles

Vaccines: The Risk Reduction Strategy You Need to Cover
First Published: August 16, 2018

Why People With Diabetes Do Not Get Flu Shots
Jerry Meece, BPharm, FACA, CDE, FAADE
First Published: August 11, 2017

Partnering with Pharmacists to Improve Vaccination Rates
Jasmine D. Gonzalvo, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, CDE, LDE; Wesley Horner, PharmD Candidate; Jacob Martin, PharmD Candidate; Craig Mathews, PharmD; Ashley H. Vincent, PharmD, BCACP, BCPS
First Published: August 11, 2017

Hepatitis B and Diabetes: What You and Your Patients Need to Know
Amber McCulloch, MA
First Published: August 21, 2015

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