For the first time people aged 50 and over have been included in the groups of people who are able to receive their flu vaccine free of charge on the NHS.
From 1st December if you are over 50 you can get vaccinated at either your GP surgery or at a pharmacy offering the flu service. Here at Parkers Pharmacy we run daily flu vaccine clinics and have appointments at our pharmacy store in Huntington between the hours of 9.15am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
Why should I get the flu vaccine?
This year our focus has been taken up by Covid-19 which in fact makes it all the more important that as many people as possible receive the flu vaccine this year:
How effective is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine gives the best protection against flu.
Flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu viruses, although there's still a chance you might get flu. However, if you do get flu after vaccination, it's likely to be milder and not last as long.
It can take 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to work so it’s important to book in for your vaccination as soon as possible.
Does the flu vaccine give you flu?
None of the flu vaccines contain live viruses so they cannot cause flu.
If you are unwell after vaccination, you may have something else. Or you may have caught flu before your vaccination had worked.
Are there any side effects?
Flu vaccines are very safe. All adult flu vaccines are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.
Most side effects are mild and only last for a day or so, such as:
Try these tips to help reduce the discomfort:
Allergic reactions to the flu vaccineIt's very rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)to the flu vaccine. If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
In line with the latest advice, we recommend that you book in for your flu vaccine as soon as possible to ensure that you protected against flu this winter.
International Men's Day is celebrated on 19 November every year and is marked in around 80 countries worldwide and its aim is to make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of men and boys, raise awareness of charities supporting men and boy’s wellbeing and to promote positive conversations about men, manhood and masculinity.
In this blog we will look at health and wellbeing and what practical steps men can take to look after themselves both physically and mentally.
We asked the men in our team to tell us what their three top tips are for male health and wellbeing and this is what they told us...
Ahmed is one of our Pharmacists and his top three tips were:
Do you know your numbers? It’s a good idea to keep a check on your blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels so that you can make any adjustments to your diet and/or lifestyle to address any issues. Is something is niggling you, maybe it’s an ache or pain that is recurrent or that may be getting slightly worse? It’s always advisable to get any health concerns checked out. You can then take any necessary action, or even just put it to the back of your mind knowing that it’s nothing to worry about.
Reducing alcohol intake will have numerous benefits not only to your health but also your general wellbeing:
· Deeper sleep.
· Brighter mood.
· More energy.
· Better concentration.
· Better skin.
· Slimmer waistline.
· A happier stomach.
· More time and money.
Read more on the benefits of reducing your alcohol intake.
At this time whilst it isn’t possible to visit pubs and bars it’s a great opportunity to look at your relationship with alcohol and see what steps you could take to reduce the amount you drink.
Your prostate. Maybe it’s not something you want to think about or feel embarrassed to discuss with your doctor? But it’s important to be aware of your prostate health. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years.
There is an increased risk in men over 50 years old, men of African-Caribbean or African descent or if your father or brother has been affected by Prostate cancer.
There are checks that your GP can carry out such as a blood test (called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test); physical examination (known as a digital rectal examination (DRE); MRI scans and biopsy.
The first step is to visit your GP if you are concerned at all and are experiencing:
These symptoms shouldn’t be ignored, but they don’t mean you have prostate cancer. Find out more.
Mo is one of our Pharmacy managers (he is much more smiley than he looks in this photo!) and his advice was to focus on the following:
Let’s look at a couple of these in more detail:
Testicular cancer is one of the less common cancers and tends to mostly affect men between 15 and 49 years of age.
Typical symptoms are a painless swelling or lump in one of the testicles, or any change in shape or texture of the testicles.
It's important to be aware of what feels normal for you. Get to know your body and see a GP if you notice any changes. Find out more.
But as we know taking care of our health is not just about physical health, it’s important to take of our overall wellbeing including our mental health. So, as Mo has recommended it’s important to take time for yourself no matter how busy you are. Find time to move – exercise benefits us physically and mentally and if you are able to, getting outside has huge benefits for how we feel.
It’s also important to take time to rest, make sure you are getting enough sleep and find activities that help you relax – perhaps things like reading, making something, talking to friends. All of these things are essential to help find balance in life, particularly at the moment.
You may have heard of the charity and initiative ‘Movember’? They encourage men to grow a moustache for November and raise money to support their causes. Their website has some great advice on health and wellbeing.
And if you feel you need extra support and need to talk to someone about how you are feeling they have pulled together a directory of resources and agencies you could contact.
Like with a physical pain, our mental health needs our attention, don’t wait to speak to someone, reach out to a friend or call one of the lines listed in the link above.
How can we help? Our Pharmacists are able to discuss various health concerns with you including erectile dysfunction, blood tests, smoking cessation and hair loss. Get in contact with us to book an appointment or talk to our Pharmacist in complete confidence.
We’d love to hear your health and wellbeing tips, so please comment in the box below, thank you!
Set up in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations' kindness NGOs, with the mission to spread kindness around the world.
This year we are all facing the challenges of the pandemic and restrictions to our normal
lives through lockdowns. But for the many this time will be particularly challenging either
through illness, loss of loved ones or worries about money and job security.
"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself..."
Benefits of kindness
Kindness not only benefits those we help but also ourselves. It makes look outside of ourselves and appreciate those around us. Research has proven that regularly undertaking acts of kindness can:
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Here are just a few ideas for acts of kindness, and not all of them need to cost you
For Friends and Family:
york.foodbank.org.ukIn the community:
And most importantly be kind to YOURSELF! Take time to enjoy a walk, some time in nature, a book, a bath, some baking – whatever feels like a treat to you. Afterall you can’t pour from an empty cup!
What should you wear for World Kindness Day?
Everyone is encouraged to wear a cardigan as a symbol of kindness – so let’s cosy up in our cardigans and spread some kindness on Friday 13th November!
Share with us your ideas for kindness or kindness that has been shown to you, we’d love to hear about your experiences, leave us a comment below.
Maybe it’s something you’ve been thinking about for a while or maybe it’s something you try NOT to think about! But stopping smoking is one of the biggest improvements to your health that you can make.
In this blog post we will take about the various support options available to you and how we can help you move forward to kick the habit.
Remembering the reasons why it’s so important to stop:
CHECK OUT OUR TOP TIPS FOR STAYING CALM DURING YOUR APPOINTMENT
There is lots of information out there encouraging us all to get a flu jab ready for this winter, but what if the thought of an injection is stopping you from booking your vaccination? Or maybe you’ve booked your appointment but are now worried about whether you can go through with it?
Lots of people feel anxious about needles and injections so we have put together some useful tips that could help you manage your feelings of anxiety around having the flu vaccination.
Whilst we’re all very focussed on Covid-19 and being vigilant with our hygiene to protect ourselves from contracting the virus, we also need to remember that the usual winter viruses will still be the doing the rounds, particularly colds and flu.
Who can receive a flu vaccine on the NHS?
Flu can have serious implications and the following groups will be able to have the flu vaccine free of charge through the NHS (1):