Dr. Muhammad Areeb Iqbal, Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, Dr. Habib Sultan
Background: Immunosuppressed diabetic patients are at an increased risk for developing pneumococcal and influenza infections. Elderly diabetics are advised proper immunization for prevention against them. This study aimed to find the prevalence and factors impeding the results of such vaccinations. Methods: A survey was conducted after consent via questionnaire solved through the interview method. A total of 200 diabetics were selected on the basis of disease duration, treatment, knowledge and practice of specific vaccination (pneumococcal and influenza) for high risk groups. Results: The study sample comprised of 200 diabetic individuals > 18 years of age with mean of 47 years. Males comprised 54% of data and females the other 46%. 97 % were married.41 % were illiterate and the % decreases upon the hierarchy of education reaching 3.5 %post graduates.60 % were not financially strong and Only 10% were financially strong. 63 % were local while the others being outside the city suburbs. 83 % were unaware of the fact that diabetes can cause immunocompromised state and different recurrent infections.92 % were not having the information about diabetics being more prone to pneumococcal and influenza infections especially the people above 65 years of age. An ALARMING 98 % people did not have any clue that ANY vaccination is recommended for diabetics. Furthermore, 99 % were unaware of pneumococcal and influenza vaccination for diabetics. Even doctors did not recommend vaccines to 99% of the people Conclusion: The knowledge and practice of influenza and pneumococcal vaccination in elderly diabetics is drastically low in Pakistan. The foremost barrier is the lack of knowledge among doctors as well as public followed by socioeconomic conditions and perceived decreased benefits of vaccines. The health care providers and government should take concrete steps to cope with the situation. Certain workshops should be carried out to highlight the importance of pneumococcal and influenza vaccines among doctors and they should be advised to inform the public about it.Proper counseling about vaccine benefits should be started and Government should take serious interest in the matter and supply hospitals with such vaccines at diabetic clinics. Media should also participate actively for spreading relevant information regarding vaccination and diabetes. Keywords: Diabetes, Immunocompromised, influenza, pneumococcal, knowledge, attitude, practice, vaccination.