Having a chronic condition like diabetes or heart failure can make it easier to get an illness or an infection. But you can protect yourself! These three vaccines help your body’s immune system fight off some serious germs — and are almost always covered by all insurance types.
You’ve heard of the flu. Also known as influenza, the virus can spread when someone who has the flu comes into contact with others. The flu can increase your risk for heart attack. For people with diabetes, the flu can lead to very high blood sugar levels. It can also make people with diabetes sicker than others, especially if you have heart failure. The best way to avoid this virus? Get a flu vaccine.
- Get a flu shot every year in the fall before flu season begins. It won’t make it impossible to get the flu. But it will protect you much better than if you don’t get the shot. Encourage people you live with to get a flu vaccine as well.
Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria. When this germ is in your lungs, it can lead to a serious infection called pneumonia. Having heart failure can make you more likely to get pneumonia. And it is even more dangerous for people with diabetes.
- Pneumonia vaccines are often recommended for those under 65. If you’re over 65 and have already had a pneumonia shot, you may need another one. Ask your doctor about the two pneumococcal vaccines and if you should get them.
Hepatitis B Shots
Hepatitis B is a virus that can spread through certain bodily fluids. It can affect your digestion and skin, and can attack your liver. It is treatable, but it’s best to avoid this disease by getting a vaccine.
- The hepatitis B vaccine is given as a series of three shots within 6 months. If you had some of the shots in the past but not all of them, your doctor can just give you the ones you’ve missed. Ask your healthcare provider if you should get this vaccine.
There may be other vaccines you should get as well, including zoster and Tdap, and many are covered by Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage. Talk to your doctor before getting these or any vaccines to see what the best plan is for you.