Health and Fitness

Do I need a fourth jab? DR ELLIE CANNON answers your health queries

I’m aged 73 and have rheumatoid arthritis, which is managed with a drug, Rituximab, which I am given through an injection yearly. I used to be additionally handled for breast most cancers ten years in the past, and have had no recurrence. My hospital advisor has advised me that I want a second Covid booster – it will be my fourth jab – and that whereas ready, I ought to isolate, to be on the protected aspect. My GP, nevertheless, says I do not want one other jab but and I need not fear. Who do I consider?

All through the coronavirus pandemic, the foundations and laws have been made at a excessive degree throughout the Division of Well being or NHS England, and GPs are merely implementing their directions. 

That is the case once we provide folks vaccinations and once we provide remedy for Covid, as we will now, for example.

Pc searches alert us to who’s or is not eligible for this stuff.

The identical course of was used for shielding recommendation. If a affected person’s data contained particulars of a situation that put them at excessive danger, they have been mechanically despatched a letter, texts or emails advising them to isolate.

Together with all over-75s, anybody who is taken into account severely immunosuppressed ought to be eligible for a second booster, a minimum of three months on from their final dose. 

This would come with folks having therapies for rheumatoid arthritis often known as biologics, or steroids, each of which suppress the immune system.

Together with all over-75s, anybody who is taken into account severely immunosuppressed ought to be eligible for a second booster, a minimum of three months on from their final dose. (File picture)

Hospital consultants who oversee this sort of remedy are supposed to jot down to the GP on behalf of their affected person and allow them to know the state of affairs. 

However this does not at all times occur. It signifies that GP data will not be absolutely updated with the right key phrases that ought to instigate the vaccination invitation.

Normally, in every surgical procedure there may be somebody throughout the administrative workforce who would look into this, and it might be value making an attempt to talk to them.

Another choice can be to name 119, the place recommendation is offered on particular vaccination choices.

I went by means of the menopause a minimum of ten years in the past with out taking HRT. I am now 61. Wouldn’t it be helpful for me to begin taking it now, to offer my bones some safety?

Nobody has to go on HRT – some kinds of that are briefly provide in the meanwhile. The selection to take medicine relies on what a girl desires, and her signs.

HRT might be prescribed at any age from the perimenopause on, with no higher age restrict. It’s used to regulate issues resembling sizzling flushes, vaginal dryness and the psychological well being adjustments related to the menopause.

It’s also used to guard in opposition to the bone-thinning illness osteoporosis, notably in girls who’ve had an early menopause. Oestrogen helps to take care of bone power and density and forestall fractures.

No one has to go on HRT – some types of which are in short supply at the moment. The choice to take medication depends on what a woman wants, and her symptoms

Nobody has to go on HRT – some kinds of that are briefly provide in the meanwhile. The selection to take medicine relies on what a girl desires, and her signs

There are numerous components that may increase the danger of osteoporosis, together with being a low weight, smoking, alcoholism and use of steroid medicines. Having a mom who has had a hip fracture or osteoporosis additionally raises the danger.

Docs can decide whether or not bone safety is required utilizing a DEXA bone scan, which seems to be on the hip bones and backbone to diagnose osteoporosis or the stage earlier than it, often known as osteopenia.

If an issue is seen, we’ve particular medicines. For milder points we might use calcium and Vitamin D dietary supplements.

Weight-bearing train resembling dancing or strolling is vital to guard bones for post-menopausal girls, too.

I am ready to have my gallbladder eliminated as a consequence of gallstones. The hospital cancelled my surgical procedure appointments twice, after which I caught Covid and needed to cancel. The hospital says I’ve to attend seven weeks earlier than it is going to even ebook me again in, after which it will in all probability be weeks and even months earlier than the op. I am in a lot discomfort that I can barely eat. What can I do?

Lots of my sufferers are ready for operations in the meanwhile. 

Covid has prompted a backlog, and now it is simply delay upon delay endlessly.


Electronic mail or write to Well being, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Road, London, W8 5TT.

Dr Ellie can solely reply in a normal context and can’t reply to particular person instances, or give private replies.

When you’ve got a well being concern, at all times seek the advice of your individual GP.

Gallstones are strong lumps of ldl cholesterol that may kind within the gallbladder – a bit pouch throughout the liver which accommodates bile, a substance that helps digest fat.

The stones could cause the gallbladder to develop into infected, or they will get caught within the small tube exiting the gallbladder often known as the bile duct, inflicting large ache.

They’ll additionally set off infections requiring hospitalisation.

If gallstones are a persistent downside, the gallbladder must be eliminated. 

This may be achieved with keyhole surgical procedure and it is normally very profitable.

However some folks don’t need an operation and as a substitute attempt to management their signs by reducing weight and sustaining a low-fat food regimen. 

Each these measures stop gallstones from forming.

Avoiding fats signifies that bile will not be wanted for digestion, and it principally helps to offer the gallbladder a relaxation.

Fasting ought to be averted for anybody with gallstones, since it’s recognized to make the state of affairs worse.

Ache aid, whereas ready for the op, can be vital. Your GP ought to be capable of provide one thing fairly robust.

It is all surprisingly quiet now we’re not doomed

Apocalyptic warnings? Covid infections are continuing on their downward trend, having peaked in late March

Apocalyptic warnings? Covid infections are persevering with on their downward development, having peaked in late March

What goes up should come down. 

However in relation to Covid charges, there are lots of within the science group who appear eager about making noise solely when the previous is occurring.

Infections are persevering with on their downward development, having peaked in late March. 

This fall started prior to colleges closing for Easter and has been sustained.

And earlier than you say it is simply because we’re not testing, the figures are being taken from the An infection Survey reported by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, so not affected by folks swabbing in the neighborhood.

Hospitalisations and deaths, which have been mercifully small, have been falling too.

There have been apocalyptic warnings when the final Covid restrictions have been dropped, but it surely seems to be as if it was the precise name.

It is humorous how those self same voices of doom are silent now that issues are going nicely. It is virtually as if some folks don’t need the pandemic to finish.

Pet medicines aren’t for people

A few weeks in the past I warned readers to not swap HRT prescriptions with different girls, after I learn tales about some doing this due to the present shortages.

However now I’ve found one thing much more worrying: folks taking medicine which is meant for his or her pets. 

I even acquired a baffling letter from a reader asking whether or not she might take a drug designed for horses to deal with her chest an infection.

The reply is completely not – it’s extremely harmful.

Even when a drugs for animals can be used for people, it will likely be in a unique formulation and dose. 

And, most significantly, the precise compound won’t have been examined on people to verify for potential negative effects.

For those who’re ever doubtful about medicine, please go to an area pharmacist or ask your GP for recommendation.

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