You can help other people stay well and healthy this winter by encouraging them to have the Covid-19 autumn booster and the flu jab.
Both vaccines are free on the NHS for people over the age of 50, with the flu jab also free for anyone turning 50 before the end of March.
Eligible people can secure a flu vaccination through their GP practice or by visiting a participating community pharmacy. If you're not eligible for a free flu vaccine you can still book a jab privately, either through a high street chemist or a supermarket with an in-store pharmacy.
Talking openly about vaccines and getting vaccinated
Vaccinations have been a staple of modern medicine for decades, with experts using the latest research and cutting-edge technology to produce vaccines that help to protect people across the globe from illnesses that could otherwise cause serious health problems.
In recent times, people have called on the power and effectiveness of vaccines to help overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw everyday life, including nearly all social interactions, come to a grinding halt.
Although the Covid-19 vaccine was produced and distributed at great speed, its design and development followed the same strict rules and safety regulations as all other new vaccinations.
The increased focus on vaccinations over the last few years has made the subject one which has become divisive among communities, with some people choosing to air their thoughts and opinions publicly.
Many, however, find it difficult to talk about the vaccines, and that has led to some people putting off getting vaccinated altogether.
But, by having open and honest conversations, which not only take a person’s feelings and concerns into account, but also provide information that is neither biased or judgmental, people can form an educated and informed view on vaccination.
Such conversations are sometimes easier said than done, which is why the World Health Organisation has provided a list of helpful tips to support healthy dialogue around vaccines and vaccinations.
- Listen with empathy. Imagine how the other person is feeling, and use that viewpoint to offer genuine support and non-judgmental advice.
- Ask open-ended questions. Starting a conversation with a question that warrants more than a yes or no response helps to start a healthy and engaging two-way dialogue.
- Share trusted information. There is an abundance of verified vaccine information available, and these resources can help to paint a clear and honest picture of vaccinations.
- Be positive. Many of the counterarguments relating to vaccination are based around fear, so it is a good idea to be positive and share the benefits that come from being vaccinated.