Tuesday, 24 November 2009


I can well remember the last time I got flu. I was on a skiing holiday. We all arrived in our catered chalet and all the staff were down with it. Great. I lasted until Wednesday.

It's the only illness I can remember catching, where my temperature went to 105 and I had hallucinations. Well, more like an inability to separate my dreaming from wakefulness, with the result that I ended up patiently explaining to the wife that I didn't need any aspirin, thank you, because the monks were now looking after me just fine. You really don't want to catch flu.

The French government has bought enough H1N1 vaccine for two shots for the entire population, and has been rolling out a campaign of vaccination. It started with health-care workers, then extended to children, and elderly and vulnerable people. Since I am diabetic, I am classed as vulnerable.

As a target for the early roll-out, I should have received a voucher for my jab in the post. I have not. When the wife explained this to the doctor he got quite upset and scribbled a letter that I was to take to the vaccination centre. There, I was expecting some jobsworth behind a desk to tell me "no voucher, no jab", but having explained my situation and shown them the doctor's letter (they couldn't read his writing) they printed me out a voucher, and I got my vaccination right away. Apparently about 40% of people who turn up at the vaccination centre do so without a voucher, and if they're not busy they will cater for you whether you are classed as vulnerable or not.

Today I feel a bit under the weather. My left shoulder hurts, I was a bit shivery this morning, and my eyes are sore. But I'd much rather be being looked after by a vaccine than my monks.


Tim Trent said...

As a fellow diabetic, though in the UK, I am still waiting for either my annual flu jab or the H1N1 one.

There's something about skiing trips. When Mao Flu hit circa 1969 I caught it in a school skiing trip. No monks for me! Just a healthy 200 yard walk to the main hotel for meals each day. Wonderful!. But I missed the flu jab at school because I had Mao Flu!

Oh, the school staff called the doctor... for no-one at all. We were obviously made of stern stuff

Mark said...

Still a mystery in the UK as to who will get the jab and when - lack of information is annoying

@eloh said...

I took the flu vaccine for the first time this year. The H1N1 still not available.

If I or my son even get a cold it will kill us... still nothing.

Viva la France!

Jonathan said...

I think that, even if I am offered this (unlikely for me as an adult male in the UK,) I'll opt out. I'm concerned about the more general effects on my immune system for one thing. However, if I'm really honest I can't stand injections and that's what will tip the balance. At least I'm brave enough to die a coward.

Mimi Lenox said...

OUCH!!! My arm hurts just thinking about it. I'm such a chicken.

I hope you are feeling better.

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