Picture of Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, the founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition, is a diabetes dietitian (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) renowned for combining her knowledge of diabetes and culinary expertise into easy-to-follow recipes and articles!


Why Pneumococcal Pneumonia Vaccination Is Important for People with Diabetes 

Article Overview

pneumonia vaccine for diabetes
Chicago IL June 2022

This blog post is sponsored by Pfizer, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. This article and the links contained in it provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician. 

Did you know that having diabetes increases your risk for pneumococcal pneumonia? 

Living with diabetes comes with additional health related risk factors. I thought I knew most of them, but one that surprised me is the increased risk of getting pneumococcal pneumonia. The good news is adults 19+ with an underlying medical condition like diabetes can help protect themselves by getting vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia. 

woman with type 1 diabetes pneumonia vaccination

Why I don’t let diabetes stop me from taking my shot in life 

Now, yes, I am going to dive into some stats and facts I want you to know about pneumococcal pneumonia and vaccination here in a sec. But first, I want to spend a little time telling you about why this matters to me. 

Many times, people with diabetes feel like they can’t do certain things in life because of diabetes. As if they’re not allowed to take their shot at certain things if you will! (See what I did there?? :-)) 

But, this is just simply not the case. And one thing I always hope people see in my content and in reading my story is that I don’t let diabetes take opportunities away from me or prevent me from taking my own shot at life.  

I’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for over 30 years and I’ve done a lot cool things that many people think you can’t do with diabetes: 

  • Run several half marathons and triathlons 
  • Had two healthy pregnancies and children 
  • Started my own business 
  • And more!
mom with kids at san antonio resort
San Antonio TX May 2022

And one of the great things about living with diabetes now, is we know about so many different ways to protect our bodies and help us live our best lives with diabetes! 

One of the things I intend to do more of and take my shot at this year and beyond is traveling… both by myself and with my kids! 

So, what does this all have to do with pneumococcal pneumonia?? 

What is pneumococcal pneumonia? 

Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common type of bacterial pneumonia. It is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that can live in the upper respiratory tract and spreads to others through coughing or close contact. 

Common symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia include high fever, excessive sweating, shaking chills, coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and chest pain. Some symptoms can appear quickly and without warning.  

Pneumococcal pneumonia and diabetes: Key things to know 

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a potentially serious bacterial lung disease that can last for weeks, and in severe cases, it can put you in the hospital and be life-threatening. Nobody wants that! But, unfortunately, the risk for pneumococcal pneumonia increases with age and certain chronic conditions. If you’re 19 or older with diabetes, among certain other underlying medical conditions, you are at greater risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. You’re also at increased risk if you’re 65 or older.  

But, the good news is, getting vaccinated can help protect adults from pneumococcal pneumonia! Pneumococcal pneumonia can strike any time of year, so anytime is a good time to ask your doctor or pharmacist about pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination if you have an underlying medical condition like diabetes – even if you’ve already been vaccinated with another pneumonia vaccine.  

Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination 

I don’t know about you but after the last few years, I’m ready to take my shot and get back out there to start exploring different places again with my kids.  

This year, many people have lots of trips planned, and don’t want anything to get in their way. Getting vaccinated can help prevent pneumococcal pneumonia from getting in the way of taking your shot at whatever dream trip you’ve been planning.  

woman on chicago riverfront with quay sunglasses

Visit KnowPneumonia.com to learn more about the risks of pneumococcal pneumonia and vaccination information. 

mom with kids at san antonio resort
San Antonio TX May 2022
pneumonia vaccine for diabetes
Chicago IL June 2022


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