I am a middle aged parish priest with no illnesses. I had all my immunisations as a child and have had none since. Should I be considering having any updates or am I too young and healthy to worry.
Fr Healthy Conscientious.
Dear Fr Healthy Conscientious,
The very first thing to consider is a yearly flu vaccine. As a priest you are mixing with a variety of people all the time. Whilst you may have a low risk of complications if you contract the flu you could still be quite sick for a number of weeks. Even of greater concern is that due to your conscientious attitude you may continue to say Mass, in which case you could potentially pass on the flu to those with a high risk of complications. When you see the GP for the flu shot it would be a good idea to review your level of immunity in general. Some of the immunisations you had as a child would no longer give you protection. An example is whooping cough. It has the potential to cause great distress to babies, particularly those less than 12 months of age, many of whom you may be having contact with as you conduct christenings. There is an adult booster that gives protection against Pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria and tetanus so it could be timely to have this added protection, not only for you, but to protect others too.
Cheryle Davies - Clergy Healthcare Coordinator