So, yesterday I was one of the "lucky ones" to receive the last of the stocks of seasonal flu jabs. As I walked out of the surgery and the largely untested vaccine surged around my body, they were turning away ageing asthmatics and one-legged diabetic dogs. I didn't feel too guilty. The thing had taken three weeks to arrange and I felt I'd waited my turn. Pregnant women probably come rather low down the pecking order, even though the dead, dying, blonde ones take precedence over other flu-sufferers on the Daily Mail newslists.
But I do have a bone to pick about the whole affair: principally with Andrew Lansley, slithery, silver-haired NHS privatiser and all-round "health" minister. Why did they decide to cancel the seasonal flu jab publicity campaign? Because, apparently, GPs would contact at-risk groups individually and invite them in for it. Bah, well, this was certainly not the case in my area. No letter, no posters, no gentle nudge from the GP or midwife. Not a peep. In the end, it was newspaper articles on Dec 20th that alerted me to the official government advice that I should have the jab. I booked immediately (already there was a three week wait) and then another two for the vaccine to take effect. So, the flu season will be largely over by the time I'm immune. And then, no doubt, there will be something else to worry about. Whatever happened to the nanny state? It's been nice to see the Department of Health has finally wheeled out last year's flu hygiene warning posters featuring a woman sneezing greeny germs all over a tube carriage. A last minute effort to prove to the media that the Government cares. I wonder what tube travellers should fear the most? Being sprayed with luminous green cartoon germs or being BLOWN UP by terrorists?