02 / 12 / 2014 9am
By Joanna Sagnella
Before I had children I’d never given much thought to the flu jab. It just didn’t seem to be something that was relevant to me. But last year, our chief executive Dr Crystal Oldman, mentioned she was having hers done because she’d been very ill once over Christmas and it had ruined the holiday for her.
Now that I've got two young children, a ruined Christmas is just not a possibility! So I had the jab done last year, as did my son - although his was a quick puff up the nose, at which he didn’t even blink. I think we’d all prefer to have it that way but anyway we both had it done and neither of us had any side effects.
This year, he has had his jab again but I’ve been reluctant to have mine done. Not for any particular reason, it’s just what with all the other things to do, it’s crept further down my to-do list, which is the apathy that most otherwise well people suffer from I would have thought.
What has shaken me out of my stupor, is some scary stats. Having been asked to write this blog, I had a quick google about flu. Imagine the shock when I read that between 2010-11, 602 people died from the flu in England. 602!
But the real shocker was that 70 per cent were between 15 and 64 years of age. I had always assumed flu killed the very young and the very old, which it obviously does, but 70 per cent of these deaths did not fall into this bracket. And most importantly, these are avoidable deaths.
I’m a big believer in vicarious learning, if I can learn from anyone else’s mistake/pain without having to go through it myself, I’m in. So bring on the jab, after all it's only a light scratch. I’m happy to say my appointment is booked for Monday at the closest pharmacy at 2.15pm.
Joanna Sagnella is a communications officer at The Queen's Nursing Institute.