My View, Nick Tupper: Winter’s coming so its time for flu jabs

Nick Tupper having his jab from health care asst Rebecca Phillips
Nick Tupper having his jab from health care asst Rebecca Phillips

It’s that time of year again, when the nights get longer, the temperatures drop, and we need to think about having a flu jab, as winter is just around the corner.

I’ve had mine, as you can see, and I highly recommend that you have one too.

For most people, a bout of flu makes you feel miserable but it’s not a serious illness. If you are generally healthy, you will usually recover from it within a week.

But some people are more at risk of developing potentially serious health problems from flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The NHS offers the injected flu vaccine free of charge to the following groups:

n Over 65s

n Children aged six months to two years at risk of flu

n Pregnant women

n Those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease

n Those who are very overweight

n Those living in a long-stay care home

n Those who receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for someone who may be at risk if you fall ill

If you’re in one of these groups you should have a jab every year.

A new vaccine is produced every year to protect against the most common strains expected to be a problem.

Just because you’ve had a flu vaccination in the past doesn’t mean you are protected now – that’s why it’s important to have one every year.

You can have a vaccination at your GP surgery or at a local pharmacy offering the service.

Flu spreads easily and quickly through coughing and sneezing, or by touching something – such as a doorknob – after someone with flu has touched it, and then touching your nose or mouth. So somebody who has flu can infect many other people around them.

Importantly, antibiotics won’t kill colds or flu so your GP will not prescribe them.

Next month a Doncaster-wide campaign will be launched to explain about antibiotics and how we need to control their use so they stay effective in the future.

Finally, I would like to praise colleagues of mine at Kingthorne Group Practice for their fantastic fund-raising efforts in memory of Phoebe Green who died nearly 10 years ago, shortly after her birth. ‘

Phoebe’s Angels – who include Phoebe’s mum Kate who also works at Kingthorne – have already collected over £1,755 for the Jessop’ wing neonatal unit in Sheffield and are preparing to take part in an abseiling, zip-wiring and simulated parachute jump to raise more.

I was involved in Phoebe’s care and know how devastating the loss of a child can be, so well done to them all for keeping her memory alive in such a positive way.