People with diabetes still face a higher risk for influenza and its complications. National and international guidelines therefore advise that diabetes patients be annually vaccinated against influenza. But the attention for the impact of influenza on diabetes patients is low and so is the influenza vaccine uptake in this group, despite the scientific evidence that influenza vaccination is beneficial for people with diabetes (Vaccine Journal) and WHO’s recommendation to routinely vaccinate 75% of all people at high risk.
Efforts should be made to increase influenza vaccination coverage, but conventional vaccination programmes appear to be inadequate to reach people with diabetes and other strategies should accordingly be considered. Leading diabetes organizations and ESWI therefore joined forces to forge an active influenza/diabetes community, implementing an action plan to better protect diabetes patients against the flu. At the successful meeting in 2018, the stakeholder groups explored numerous ideas and committed to developing a joint strategy to disseminate good vaccination practices amongst diabetes patients.
On 17 September 2019, the influenza/diabetes community will meet again to discuss its achievements and to investigate new opportunities for collaboration and awareness raising activities.
Current community members are:
- The International Diabetes Federation (IDF Europe)
- Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND)
- Pharmacist Group to the European Union (PGEU)
- Diabetes UK
- Primary Care Diabetes Europe (PCDE)
- Immunology of Diabetes Society (IDS)
- European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)
- Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF)
- American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE)
- American Pharmacists Association (APhA)