BACKGROUND: Family physicians should actively carry out adult immunization. DM is a common risk factor of influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia related complications, so DM patients should receive influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations. The authors investigated recognition and performance of influenza and pneumococcal vaccination among DM patients. METHODS: We surveyed knowledge and performance of influenza and pneumococcal vaccination among the 203 diabetic patients living in Seoul and responding to telephone interview, who visited one DM center in general hospital from March 3, to March 7, 1997. RESULTS: Among 203 DM patients, the risk factors for influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia other than DM were old age of 65 or over(35.0%), cardiovascular diseases(5.9%) and chronic pulmonary diseases(4.9%). The recognition rate and performance rate of influenza vaccination were 27.6% and 21.2% respectively, there was a statistically significant relationship between these rates(P<0.01). Those vaccinated 43 patients for influenza knew the need of vaccination through family members and relatives(58.1%) and through medical doctors(32.6%). Although 85.2% of 203 DM patients answered that they received education about need of vaccination through DM education program conducted at hospitals, but only 9 patients(4.4%) recognized well. The reasons for not performing influenza vaccination were lack of knowledge(63.1%), no experience of influenza(12.5%), 'forget for the moment(5.0%) and regard injection as a nuisance(2.5%) in descending order. The recognition rate and performance rate of of pneurnococcal vaccination were all zero percents. The reasons for not performing pneumococcal vaccination were lack of knowledge(91.1%) no experience of pneumococcal pneumonia(6.4%), regard injection as a nuisance(1.5%) and forget for the moment(1.0%) in descending order. CONCLUSIONS: The recognition and performance rates of influenza vaccination were low and those of pneumococcal vaccination were all zero percents among DM patients because they did not recognize well the need of these vaccinations. Therefore, the doctors who see DM patients should actively recommend influenza and pneumococcal vaccination and DM educational programs must include education for these vaccinations.