Get your jab!

Why Boxer and BEM Jack Bishop is calling on people to have the flu jab this winter

Jack Bishop

If you ask people about the flu jab, they will often say it is only for the over 65s, pregnant women and those with an underlying health issue, such as diabetes or lung disease. However they couldn’t be more wrong… Someone with the flu can easily pass it onto others within just six feet of them. That’s why the UK’s oldest boxing champion, Jack Bishop has teamed up with Careway, the partnership programme that supports independent pharmacies, to urge EVERYONE to get their jab in this year, and stay fighting fit for winter.

Southampton hero and gym owner Jack – or ‘Mr Boxing’ – wants to get across the message that anyone can be affected by flu …it’s a virus which isn’t picky about its prey and it leaves most who get it bed-ridden and very ill.

Jack still gets his training in three times a week and claims his good health is down to regular exercise, a balanced diet and having the flu jab every winter.

Jack says: “I have had the flu once in my life and I don’t want it again. I caught it after one of my big boxing matches; I won, but was so run down afterwards I ended up on my back for three weeks and I felt dreadful. It’s the only time I have ever been that ill and ever since I have made sure to get the flu jab. I’ve been having the flu jab every winter for more than 40 years now and haven’t had the flu during this time.

“I have boxed nearly all my life and I can’t imagine not being able to go to my gym and train the up and coming boxing stars. I definitely put my good health in recent years down to having the flu jab every year. Staying flu free ensures that I stay active and keep healthy.”

The flu virus is highly contagious and unlike the common cold, can knock you off your feet for up to two weeks, or in some cases, even longer. Each time a person sneezes they spread millions of flu viruses around and only 30-50 of these are needed to make a person poorly.

Taking part in Careway’s flu campaign is Baldev Laly, Pharmacist from Laly’s Chemist, Southsea. He commented: “We’re urging everyone to get the flu jab this autumn, whether you’re classed as at risk and eligible for an NHS funded vaccination, or considered in good health.

“When it comes to catching the flu, it’s not just ourselves that we should consider. People who catch the flu are contagious for up to 40 hours before showing symptoms; therefore have the potential to pass virus on, without knowing, to those more vulnerable, which could result in serious health implications.

“We recommend that anyone over the age of 16 visits our community pharmacy for a flu jab and for winter health advice from our team of trained experts.”
Jack, who has fought 173 professional fights throughout his career, was recently awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) at Buckingham Palace for his services to British Boxing. He added: “Put it this way – I never thought I’d be meeting the Queen at the age of 91. I’ll be squaring up to the flu again this winter so my advice to you? Keep fighting fit and go and get your jab in!”

To find your local Careway pharmacy please visit: http://careway.co.uk/

For more information on the Careway partnership initiative please visit: http://www.yourcareway.co.uk/