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September 28, 2003

Other Medications

Question from Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada:

My son received the first of three hepatitis injections at school today. Most of the people we have talked to agree a child with diabetes should receive the injections, but a couple of people say they should not. If a child with diabetes should not be getting the injections, would there not be a warning from the Department of Health that if a child has diabetes he or she should not receive the injections? What is your opinion on this?

Answer:

Children with diabetes need to be protected against infectious diseases wherever immunisation makes this possible if only because of their vulnerability to DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis]. Problems have arisen because the occasional reaction to immunisation may be sufficient to precipitate a transient or sometimes permanent change from late preclinical diabetes to insulin dependent diabetes. The immunisation gets the blame for this and the fact that the progressive autoimmune damage to the islet cells has been going on for years is ignored.

DOB