PEOPLE with diabetes across Hampshire are being urged to have the flu vaccine to reduce their risk of developing serious complications arising from infections.

Complications can include pneumonia, inflammation of the heart, brain and muscle tissues and even multi-organ failure.

Clinicians advise that even patients whose diabetes is well managed should still have the flu vaccine.

Individuals with diabetes are around six times more likely to die if they develop flu than people with no underlying health conditions.

Dr Shahed Ahmad, NHS England medical director for Hampshire and the Thames Valley said: “It really is important for patients with diabetes to make sure they have the free flu vaccine.”

Patients with diabetes can have the vaccine free of charge, via their GP surgery or local community pharmacy.