Better to be safe than flu sorry
It's that time of the year when the sniffles, sneezes and coughs start to hint that winter is not too far away so a timely reminder might be appropriate to encourage constituents to start thinking about getting the recommended protection of a flu jab.
For younger and fitter people flu can be debilitating, even if it clears up after a week or two, but for the more vulnerable of us it can be much more severe and serious.
The over-65s, pregnant women, very young children and those with respiratory or chronic heart conditions can all be at serious health risk from a bout of flu.
No medical experts would ever suggest that a flu vaccine gives 100 per cent guarantee of immunity against influenza, but what they would most probably say is that it is the best protection we have.
And if you fall into a category of people recommended to have it, then you should seriously consider doing so.
Last week I had a flu jab at the Wells Pharmacy in Ashington and was most grateful to Doha the pharmacist and her hardworking staff for looking after me so well.
These days pharmacies are playing an increasingly important role in the health care service.
In many cases they are now a primary contact for diagnosis and treating medical conditions, as well as being distribution points for the flu jab.
You can, of course, still get the vaccine from your local GP surgery.
I am no medical expert, but from what I know and have read, I would encourage people to get the vaccine, whether that is from your GP surgery or local pharmacist, especially if you are vulnerable to the flu virus or fall into one of the categories of conditions that entitle you to a free vaccination.
No one knows whether this will be particularly bad year for a virulent or even new strain of flu, but in my opinion it is better to be safe than sorry.