Archive for February 6, 2020

Have you ever had a flu jab?

Posted in Biographical with tags , , on February 6, 2020 by telescoper

What with all the news about the coronavirus outbreak that originated recently in China, a few of us were talking yesterday about being vaccinated against influenza. As it happens, to my knowledge, I have never had a flu jab. Some people I’ve told about this were astonished and assumed I was some sort of anti-vax nutter, which I am not. I’m not scared of injections, either. In fact I’ve recently  had monster injections in my knees to help with my arthritis. It’s  just that I regard `flu as a relatively minor ailment and that it’s better to let nature’s own defences fight it off. It seems that this is in accord with practice both here in Ireland and in the UK.

The NHS recommends having a  flu vaccine if you:

  • are 65 years old or over
  • are pregnant
  • have certain medical conditions
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay care facility
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or you’re the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill .

Similar advice is given here in Ireland. It appears that, e.g in the United States, anyone over the age of 6 months is recommended (“with rare exceptions”)

I wonder why there’s such a big difference in practice on this? Are Americans just soft?

Anyway, as part of a totally unscientific study into this question I thought I’d see what fraction of my totally unrepresentative readership have actually had flu jabs via the poll below:

Of course other comments are, as always, welcome through the box below.