Stay Well This Winter

Posted by: Press Team on 23 October 2023 11:23

A South Tyneside woman is reminding eligible people to take up the offer of a free flu jab after her Christmas was spoiled last year by the virus.

Janine Cole, 45, of the Fellgate Estate in Jarrow, is entitled to a free flu vaccine because she has an autoimmune disease, which makes her more susceptible to complications of flu.

Janine Cole
Janine Cole

Last year, Janine, who is a teaching assistant, was busy with other things and simply forgot to get the vaccine.

But just days before Christmas she was struck down with flu. On Christmas Day she managed to crawl out of bed to watch her teenage children open their presents but was so weak she could not even sit up,

Janine became progressively worse and ended up in Urgent Care where her blood oxygen levels were found to be extremely low. The flu had developed into pleurisy which caused severe chest pain.

Janine, who is usually a fit and active person, was ill for three weeks.

She said: "I missed Christmas and New Year and I had to take an extra week off work to recover.  I will definitely be getting the flu jab this year and would highly recommend anyone who is eligible to do so. "

People aged 65 and over, pregnant women, children aged between two and nine and those with an underlying health condition as well as carers and those living in a care home are advised to have the vaccine.

Councillor Ruth Berkley, Lead Member for Wellbeing and Independence, said: "Janine's story is a timely reminder of just how serious flu can be - particularly for certain groups of people.

"I would encourage everyone who is entitled to the free flu jab to make the time to protect themselves and others around them. It only takes a minute to grab a jab and it could save you a lot of distress and pain further down the line."

Eligible residents are reminded that they can get a flu jab from their GP as well as pharmacies. WHIST (Women's Health in South Tyneside) is hosting a clinic on Wednesday 25 October between 11am and 1pm at Salus House, 33 Mile Rd in South Shields. This clinic is for women only.

The Melissa Bus will also be making a return journey to the borough over the next few months to offer Covid boosters to eligible people.   It will be in King Street in South Shields between 10am-4pm on 27 October, 16 November and 13 December. It will be in Morrisons Car Park in Jarrow from 10am-4pm on 30 October, 17 November and 14 December.

Last modified: 26 March 2024 10:42