Flu jabs: relatively poor level of take-up in Wiltshire for those at risk
It may be unseasonably warm and there may be daffodils in flower and primroses too - just the weather that germs love. So have you had your flu jab yet?
Influenza presents more dangers - even life-threatening dangers for some - to a number of groups of vulnerable people beyond those who are over 65 and are automatically on the list for flu jabs.
Figures released by NHS England show that in England only about half of patients below 65 and in those vulnerable risk groups have been vaccinated this winter.
Numbers getting flu jabs in our region are slightly lower than the national average for vulnerable people who are under 65 and for pregnant women. And in the region, Wiltshire has the lowest number of those under 65 and at risk of more serious consequences of catching flu who have had a flu jab this year.
One good result of this year's flu jab campaign is that in the region the number of children between two and four years old who have had the jabs is above the average for all of England.
It is thought that part of the reason for the low take-up of flu jabs is the prominence given in the media to reports that last year's jabs were not as effective as intended.
To try and boost the numbers getting flu jabs NHS England commissioned pharmacies across England to admisnter the jabs to those entitled to them. At the end of last month 53 of the county's 74 pharmacies had signed up to the scheme.
During a recent meeting at the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, a GP wanted NHS England to be a bit more wary of spreading the ways people can get their jabs. He told the story of one of his patients who had their flu jab at the surgery and then had a second one at the local pharmacy.
However, the mild weather does not seem - so far - to have led to an increase in influenza cases. Across England in the week ending December 9, NHS England found 'low levels' of influenza and the number of people consulting their GPs with an 'influenza-like illness' was also 'low'.