Swine Flu, Round Two

Even though the spread of the virus has not stopped, media coverage of H1N1, popularly called swine flu, has ebbed somewhat since earlier this year. But as preparations for vaccinating a large proportion of the U.S. population advance, the disease has gotten some renewed attention — and people with diabetes are an intended audience.


The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued recommendations last week regarding who should be vaccinated against the virus in case of a major spread this fall. According to a Reuters article published last week, the recommended groups amount to about half of the United States population. These include people with diabetes as well as pregnant women, health-care workers, people who care for babies, young children, and people with asthma or heart disease.

The article notes that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices plays a key role in controlling demand for a vaccine. In this case, the group is trying to direct the limited supply of the vaccine to those who are most vulnerable while still trying to use as much of the predicted supply (up to 160 million doses) as possible.

Given that fears of a swine flu pandemic have not panned out so far, convincing people to get vaccinated may be a difficult effort. Possible confusion between the swine flu vaccine and the regular seasonal flu vaccine — which will also be available in the fall, as it is every year — may also be a problem, as could be safety concerns about the new vaccine.

Do you think concerns about swine flu have been overblown? Or is such a cautious response appropriate on this case? Do you intend to get vaccinated this fall? Leave a comment below!

Learn more about the health and medical experts who who provide you with the cutting-edge resources, tools, news, and more on Diabetes Self-Management.
About Our Experts >>

  • Gail P

    While I think the media blows things out of proportion for the sake of advertising revenue, I do think this particular disease deserves more attention than many due to its contagious nature.
    I plan to get vaccinated for this flu as well as the regular. As a diabetic and someone who is facing surgery in late fall, I think it is imperative that I maintain the best health I can.

  • airborne mom

    I plan to get vaccinated for the flu, as I do every year and if my doctor advises I will get the swine flu vaccination

  • Alan Brainard

    I am a type II diabetic who also has asthma and has had a coronary operation. Because of these factors, I intend to receive a vaccination to help protect me against Swine Flu. I assume the vaccination will do no harm.

  • Ed Bujewski

    I thnk the response is appropriate and yes, I will get vaccinated this fall.

  • cecil

    Yes I plan to get both Vaccines,There is a good chance this H1N1 virus may mutate, If it does, I want to have a little hopeful protection from it. I would rather take the shot, knowing it itself could hurt me. The H1N1 flu also could hurt me. Really a no win situation. better to have a little piece of mind. Anyway I have diabetes. and retired military. If I didn’t died from all the shots the military gave before going overseas, not being able to make my own decisions on whether to take the shot or not. Or even if the shot was new. Shot just shut up and take the shot. 1 or or bouth could kill you. Dam- if you do dam- if you don’t. God Beless and gl

  • Aggie

    I have always gotten a flu shot, with the encouragement of my husband!
    At first, I thought they were just trying to scare us into getting the swine flu shot, but,
    with all the summer camps having trouble this summer, and even some closing down, I’m beginning to think this swine flu is going to be something to contend with this winter.
    I will get both flu shots, and hopefully, my family will also! Thanks!

  • Judy Simmons

    I think I am going to just leave it up to my doctor as to whether he thinks I need to get the vaccine or not. I am diabetic and definitely do not want to get any form of the flu.

  • Elaine

    My husband has recently been diagnosed with Diabetes. My husband is a teacher and feel it is imperative the he be vaccinated. We both will be vacinated this Fall as we always are. If there is swine flu vaccine available we will also be vaccinated for that.

  • Lisa Michelle Wall

    I am very concern about swin-flu i am a diabetic and have had it for 34 years and i have M.S Sarcoidosis and i just wont to know what would happen to me.

  • Nadine Caldwell

    Everything I have read seems to indicate people over 65 seem to be immune to this flu because of past flu epidemics that have been similar to this one. Even the JAMA had an article on this same subject. My doctor said the same thing and he is an endocrinologist. Have you really seen any cases of older people getting this flu. It is always young children or someone with other health issues. You need to check out these facts before telling everyone to get vaccinated for swine flu.

  • David

    I will probably get the regular flu shot this year, but I am not so sure about the swine flu. So far I have not seen anything that makes me think the swine flu is any more deadly that the regular flu. People die of the regular flu every year. My 2 biggest concerns are the safety of the swine flu shot and the necessity of taking a shot that could have the potential of unforeseen side effects or worse.

  • Lorraine

    If I am advised to get both than I will. I think for seniors and diabetics we have to be a little extra careful

  • diane w

    Our local newspaper always lists groups who are urged to get flu vaccines. This year it was emphasized that elderly people, even those with chronic illnesses, were not on the list. Why is this?

  • Mary Blaylock

    I have diabetes and am hoping to get vaccinated for the swine flue. I have had the regular vaccination every year for many, many years. Thanks! Mary Blaylock.

  • kben

    I don’t understand how this strain of flu is any different from other flus of previous years except that this flu season is starting earlier.
    All flu viruses are contagious. If you have serious health problems by all means get a shot.

  • Alan Barton

    I agree that the media tends to overblow some stories. I remember the other “swine flu” that never came about (in the ’70S I think). But as a diabetic & to be safe I will get both shots this year.

  • diane w

    please disregard above comment because I now cannot find the article for verification

  • cindy schell

    I am hesitant to rush out and get the swine flu vaccine due to concerns about the safety and how likely you are to get sick from the vaccine itself. I would have to learn more about the drug first. Since the pandemic never occurred I think it is prudent for diabetics as well as the rest of the population to take time to research more information before getting vaccinated.

  • Diane Rheaume

    I am undecided at this point. I am leaning toward NOT getting the vaccine. I’ve had many experiences of glucose numbers going crazy because of different medications and I think a flu shot would have the same effect. I’ll just wash my hands and use antibacterial lotions often.

  • Jackie Rozine

    I also plan to be vaccinated as not only am I type 2 but I get infusions for rheumatoid arthritis which lower my immune system and leave me even more vulnerable to flu. I think it pays to act on the side of caution.

  • Manuel R. Mora,Sr.

    While I think the media blows things out of proportion, I do think this particular disease deserves more attention due to its contagious nature.
    I plan to get vaccinated for this flu as well as the regular. As a diabetic and someone who has
    heart problems I think it is imperative that I maintain the best health I can, Iam 82 years old and still goin strong.

  • lula ottwell

    i always take the yearly flu shot because i am diabetic. i do not know if i will take swine flu shot. do not think it has been tested enough yet. live alone and fear being ill. am just am now getting over a virus and it has been no fun and games.

  • tmana

    Since I find I am generally unaffected by flu (the few times I’ve had it, it’s been extremely mild in comparison to everyone else’s), but I am often adversely affected by pharmaceuticals, I categorically refuse flu vaccine.

    What worries me are reports that all liability for adverse effects of this vaccine has been waived, and that the government is going to make refusal of this vaccine a criminal offense. (I’m also seeing reports that make these two issues seem mild by comparison — but these two are enough to keep me well-alarmed.)

  • Laura King

    I do intend to get the shots this fall for swine flu and regular flu.

  • Irene R.

    I am diabetic #1 and also have asthma..I have gotten the flu shots for many years and will continue to do so. That encludes the “swine flu” vaccine.

  • Ronald R

    This whole business of selective vaccinations
    tells us seniors that our lives are not worth
    the investment in giving us the swine flu shot.
    Again, seniors are being treated as second class citizens. We have contributed a lot in our life tlme and we deserve better consideration. You can bet the upper crust will get their shots even if they are not in the SELECTIVE group(s).

  • Suzanne Miller

    Yes, being diabetic I will also get whichever vaccine my doctor advises me to get. Better safe
    than sorry…



  • Lisa

    Hi! Have any of you read anything about what’s in the vaccine? I will NOT be taking the vaccine for either flu. I’m also a diabetic. The ingredient squalene in swine flu vaccine is what was proved to cause the Gulf War syndrome. I’d rather die from the flu. Read about the Gulf War syndrome .Here is a site to get you started thinking about whether you just want to follow along what the govt. says or not. Hey, look what lies have been told before ,such as the experiments of the 1950’s & 1960’s to see if people would get cancer.There are lots of articles on net to research . Also look up Plum Island& get the book about it & read what has gone on with infectious diseases.


  • Lisa

    Oh, I also wanted to tell you that my GreatGrandma died from the 1918 influneza , after she nursed her 9 children back to health from it. I believe she was just exhausted from taking care of them & made her more sick , enough to die. They all recovered & lived into at least their last 60’s & some through their 80’s.

  • James D.Taylor

    As someone who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 45 years I have learned that prevention is the best defense against and plan to take advantage of each and every one of the vaccines offered this year.

    Any diabetic who has ever experienced severe gastro-intestinal discomfort for any number of reasons knows only too well how much havoc such experiences can wreak on the health of the fittest diabetic and flu is at the top of the list in that regard. High fever can absolutely throw a diabetic
    into ketoacidosis as dehydration can rapidly set in, so to anyone waffling on the fence about whether or not to get vaccinated I’d strongly urge you to do it.

  • Fancheon Boone

    I have taken the Flu shot for the past several years and will continued to since my doctor has recommended it. I will consult with her regarding the Swin Flu shot.

  • diana bowington

    I intend to get vac as soon as possible..Senior citizen/ over 65 with heart diseas and diabetis.
    Will do ssso at Point West,Kaiser, Sacramento..

  • Connie Shutes

    I as a diabetic don’t believe there is a need to get 3 shots for something I probably wont get The media has proven how much this has all been blown out of control. I also lived through the joke of the 70’s and saw the panic over nothing and saw those get the shot and had some complicications from the shot. I do not plan on getting the shots.
    Can’t sfford 3 seperate shots and the risk of being sick from them.

  • Doris Gebhart

    I get my flu shot every as my Doctor says I
    should. If she thinks I need the swine flu shot, I will get one.

  • Joyce Johnson

    I will probably get the vaccine if my doctor tells me I need it. Since I have Diabetes,Asthma,and Rheumatoid Arthritis, I think he will be all for it.

  • Susan

    I am very scared about this n1h1 or swineflu. I ususally have not had a flu shot in years but after all the information that the cdc has put out about it and I work in an assisted living I aam going to go and get mine this year.

  • SM

    I live with my sister who has been a type 1 for teh past 30 years. She recently had the swine flu jab. Days after this, she slipped in to 4 consecutive severe hypos each morning whilst making no significant changes to her insulin type, dosage, exercise or food intake. Each night she continued to sleep on a higher blood sugar reading circa 17 and reduce her night time insulin to the point where she was injecting less than half her set basal dose, and still had morning blood sugars of 1mmol/l in the morning. We charted everything (I am also a health clinician with experience in the field) and we couldn’t work out what was going on. We discussed everything..it was only when I knocked her arm and she complained about the swine flu jab that we connected these hypos may have something to do with it. She saw the GP today who said he was pretty much convinced it was due to the swine flu as people are reacting in so many different ways due to the lack of testing. He has advised she come off the basal totally which she has never done in 30 years and slowly as blood sugar readings in the morning start to rise, reintroduce basal gradually. He said swine flu can remain in the system for 2 weeks so we need to continue to monitor intensively. i am extremely angry about this as no warning was issue around this possible fatal risk, had I not been around to treat these hypos, it could have been fatal. I intend to follow this up. Every case is different, but from my experience and on speaking with the doctor today, I wish my sister had not listened to Govt advice and had this. In retrospect I feel it was the wrong decision. This vaccine has not been tested enough in my opinion.