Getting vaccinated is the most important thing you can do this winter

Getting vaccinated is the most important thing you can do this winter

OUR NHS is facing extraordinary pressure at the moment.

It’s not unusual at this time of year – I can not remember a single year since I qualified where we have not had a particularly challenging winter.

Dr.  Zoe says:

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Dr. Zoe says: “My advice is to get your jabs and boosters – get every single vaccine available to you”

When the temperature drops below zero, we see a huge increase in people who have heart attacks and strokes because the blood is more likely to clot.

There is a higher risk of pneumonia and of course it is also flu season. And that’s all before you add Covid to the mix.

This year, like last winter before that, we see a system that already had capacity being pushed beyond its limit.

Healthcare can not take much more, and the incredible staff working in the NHS have endured grueling two years and have not had a break.

So with the inevitable pressure that the NHS is facing, it is important to remember that each of us can do our part to help. First and foremost, you can protect yourself from Covid. Getting vaccinated is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family, friends, the wider community and our NHS.

I understand that there are still people who are hesitant, but my advice is that you get your jabs and boosters – get all the vaccines available. We know they are safe and effective. And recent data has shown that they make a huge difference compared to Omicron, with 90 percent of patients in some intensive care units not being encountered.

For those people who are concerned that “we do not have enough data”, let me put it this way: the Covid vaccine is without a doubt the most widespread medical intervention we have ever seen, with more than nine billion doses being been given worldwide.

Other people will worry about the potential long-term effects, and again, I understand that. But one can say that there is a potential risk associated with literally everything in this time.

We have no idea what the long-term effects will be of wearing wireless headphones or using smartphones, yet we all balance risk versus benefits.

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The same goes for the Covid jab, and the known benefit far outweighs any possibility of theoretical future risk.

Keep warm to stay well

In addition to having your Covid jabs, there are other steps we can all take to help ease some of the pressure on healthcare right now.

Considering the weather, if you are a person who has heart or lung problems, it is worth being extra careful. Try to stay warm when you are outside and turn up the heat at home if you can afford it – although I know it can be difficult for some people given the rise in energy prices.

Eating nutritious, hot food and having plenty of hot drinks is another great way to stay warm. If you are taking regular medication, make sure you do not run out and continue taking it as prescribed by your doctor.

And if you’re healthy and well, small changes in the way you access the NHS can really make a huge difference. Make use of your local pharmacy – this is not the only place where you can get a sidestream test.

Pharmacists train for five years and are excellently placed to treat minor injuries and illnesses – the added bonus is that you do not need a time.

Next up are NHS 111 and 999. Although both face large volumes of calls and are overwhelmed at the moment, NHS 111 can be very helpful in pointing patients in the right direction.

And last but not least, we can all remember the “please” message. In the first lockdown, we all stepped outside and banged our heads and clapped for our NHS.

Two years later, they are still facing the same challenges – their jobs are arguably even harder now than ever before.

Our small actions can make a big difference and help our NHS get rid of this winter storm.

Dr. Zoe

I know it can be difficult when you are in pain or feeling unwell, but be aware of your doctors, nurses, ward assistants, admin teams, practicing receptionists, porters, paramedics, and NHS call handlers.

Every single member of staff who works for the NHS does their best – and they are completely exhausted.

Our small actions can make a big difference and help our NHS get rid of this winter storm.

People without boosters make up almost 50% of daily cases, expert reveals

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