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

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I’m aged 73 and have rheumatoid arthritis, which is managed with a drug, Rituximab, which I’m given by way of an injection annually. I used to be additionally handled for breast most cancers ten years in the past, and have had no recurrence. My hospital guide has instructed me that I would like a second Covid booster – it’ll be my fourth jab – and that whereas ready, I ought to isolate, to be on the secure aspect. My GP, nonetheless, says I don’t want one other jab but and I don’t want to fret. Who do I consider?

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

That is the case once we provide individuals vaccinations and once we provide remedy for Covid, as we are able to now, for example.

Laptop searches alert us to who’s or isn’t eligible for these items.

The identical course of was used for shielding recommendation. If a affected person’s information contained particulars of a situation that put them at excessive threat, 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, at the very least three months on from their final dose. 

This would come with individuals having remedies for rheumatoid arthritis generally known as biologics, or steroids, each of which suppress the immune system.

Along with all over-75s, anyone who is considered severely immunosuppressed should be eligible for a second booster, at least three months on from their last dose. (File image)

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

Hospital consultants who oversee this type of remedy are supposed to put in writing to the GP on behalf of their affected person and allow them to know the scenario. 

However this doesn’t at all times occur. It implies that GP information might not be totally updated with the proper key phrases that ought to instigate the vaccination invitation.

Normally, in every surgical procedure there’s somebody inside the administrative staff who would look into this, and it could be price attempting to talk to them.

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

I went by way of the menopause at the very least ten years in the past with out taking HRT. I’m now 61. Would it not be helpful for me to start out taking it now, to provide my bones some safety?

Nobody has to go on HRT – some sorts of that are briefly provide for the time being. The selection to take medicine will depend on what a lady desires, and her signs.

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

It is usually used to guard towards the bone-thinning illness osteoporosis, notably in girls who’ve had an early menopause. Oestrogen helps to keep up bone energy and density and stop 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 sorts of that are briefly provide for the time being. The selection to take medicine will depend on what a lady desires, and her signs

There are a lot of elements that may increase the chance 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 chance.

Medical doctors 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, generally 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 equivalent to dancing or strolling is essential to guard bones for post-menopausal girls, too.

I’m ready to have my gallbladder eliminated resulting from 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’s going to even e-book me again in, after which it’ll in all probability be weeks and even months earlier than the op. I’m in a lot discomfort that I can barely eat. What can I do?

A lot of my sufferers are ready for operations for the time being. 

Covid has brought about a backlog, and now it’s simply delay upon delay ad infinitum.


E-mail [email protected] or write to Well being, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Road, London, W8 5TT.

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

When you have a well being concern, at all times seek the advice of your personal GP.

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

The stones could cause the gallbladder to grow to be infected, or they’ll get caught within the small tube exiting the gallbladder generally known as the bile duct, inflicting super ache.

They’ll additionally set off infections requiring hospitalisation.

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

This may be performed with keyhole surgical procedure and it’s often very profitable.

However some individuals don’t need an operation and as a substitute attempt to management their signs by dropping pounds and sustaining a low-fat food plan. 

Each these measures forestall gallstones from forming.

Avoiding fats implies that bile isn’t wanted for digestion, and it mainly helps to provide the gallbladder a relaxation.

Fasting ought to be prevented for anybody with gallstones, since it’s identified to make the scenario worse.

Ache reduction, whereas ready for the op, can also be essential. Your GP ought to have the ability to provide one thing fairly robust.

It’s 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 terms of Covid charges, there are a lot of within the science neighborhood who appear fascinated with 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 varsities closing for Easter and has been sustained.

And earlier than you say it’s 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 individuals 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’s humorous how those self same voices of doom are silent now that issues are going properly. It’s virtually as if some individuals 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: individuals taking medicine which is meant for his or her pets. 

I even obtained 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 also be used for people, it will likely be in a special formulation and dose. 

And, most significantly, the precise compound is not going to have been examined on people to examine for potential unwanted effects.

When you’re ever unsure about medicine, please go to an area pharmacist or ask your GP for recommendation.

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