Doctors are pushing two jabs this autumn. One is, allegedly, to stop you getting the flu. And the other is, allegedly, to stop you getting the other flu – the over-marketed one known as covid-19.
How much research has been done, you might ask yourself, to find out if having two jabs together is completely safe.
But it would be a silly question because neither drug companies nor doctors do boring research like that. It might produce inconvenient results.
Indeed, they don’t do much research at all. They just sort of ‘know’ that their products are wonderful, safe and effective. (Actually, the only thing they know for sure is that the damned things are immensely profitable. The EU is reported to have overpaid £32 billion for some vaccines and no one noticed. I understand. That’s always happening to me.)
Once you’re in your 60s, you will suddenly find yourself enormously popular with your doctor.
He or she won’t want to visit you at home, of course. If you want to be ill, you will probably have to make an appointment for three weeks ahead and then make do with a wet-behind-the-ears junior trainee or the practice nurse. Or, more likely, a telephone interview with a health care assistant who has O level woodwork and a diploma in advanced car parking.
The GP with whom you are registered will be far too busy counting her money to see you.
But you will receive regular letters inviting you to visit the surgery to be vaccinated. Sometimes it will be the flu vaccine. Sometimes it will be something else. But the chances are that once you reach a certain age then the vaccination offers will come pretty thick and fast. The shingles vaccine is quite profitable. Sorry, I mean popular.
Do not however assume that this is a consequence of any genuine concern for your wellbeing. Your doctor wants to vaccinate you (or, more accurately, to tell his practice nurse to vaccinate you) because he is paid vast amounts of money to vaccinate everyone who’ll keep still long enough to be jabbed.