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Stephen Pollard health: British author struggles to get flu jab – and he has cancer

The coronavirus pandemic worsens in the United Kingdom, with winter set to be a troublesome time. Those in the high-risk category, such as Stephen Pollard, are due a flu jab, but some people don’t have access to vital vaccinations.

Alarmed, Stephen posted on Twitter: “Rang my GP surgery today to arrange flu jab.

“They said they will only take a booking for December as they’ve been told no supplies until end of November.

“And that’s with my priority as someone with cancer. So much for the biggest vaccination programme in history.”

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The incident took place on Saturday October 10 – sparking fears for other vulnerable members of society.

The NHS know that “this year, flu immunisation will be critical to protect those patients who are most vulnerable”.

It was pointed out by the national health body that “if you get flu and coronavirus at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill”.

Are you eligible for the flu vaccine? Here is a list provided by the NHS:

  • Aged 65 and over (including those who’ll be 65 by 31 March 2021)
  • Have certain health conditions
  • Are pregnant
  • Are in a long-stay residential care
  • Receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • Live with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • Frontline health or social care workers

READ: Boris hit with lockdown REVOLT over coronavirus plans – No10 threatened with legal action

Will everybody due a flu vaccination be able to get one? (Image: Getty)

Health conditions that make you eligible for the flu vaccine include diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, or undergoing chemotherapy – a full list is available here.

The NHS flu vaccine can be given at your GP surgery, a pharmacy offering the service or the midwifery service if you’re pregnant.

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Do note, if you have the flu vaccination at the pharmacy, they will inform your doctor that you have done so.

All adult flu vaccinations are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.

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Blood cancer

It was on Twitter, back in 2018, where Stephen revealed his cancer diagnosis.

“I have a blood cancer,” he shared. “I was incredibly to be diagnosed very early, so have a decent prognosis.

“Please read this about the symptoms, and if you recognise any then see your GP. The earlier you are are diagnosed, the better your chances!”

Blood cancer symptoms

The charity Blood Cancer UK urged anyone suffering the symptoms below to contact their doctor.

Stephen Pollard posted his difficulty in getting a flu jab (Image: Twitter)

Common symptoms of blood cancer include unexplained weight loss, unexplained bruising or blessing, and lumps or swellings.

Additional signs are: drenching night sweats; persistent, recurrent or severe infections; unexplained fever (38°C or above).

A person with the disease may experience an unexplained rash or itchy skin, or bone, joint or abdominal pain.

Fatigue is common, which is a feeling of lethargy that isn’t improve by rest or sleep.

Still see your GP for any health concerns (Image: Getty)

The other two signs of blood cancer can include breathlessness or an unusually pale complexion (pallor).

There are different types of blood cancer, such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

Generic risk factors for blood cancers are having a close relative with the condition, or exposure to the chemical benzene – found in cigarette smoke.

Another risk factor is if you’ve already undergone cancer treatment with certain chemotherapy drugs, such as platinum agents.


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