Chesterfield FC players have strengthened their defence against one of their most serious opponents - influenza.
Staff at the B2net Stadium lined up to tackle the threat and showed a red card to flu thanks to Dr Mark Blagdon, of Avondale Surgery, an NHS Clinic in Chesterfield.
Dr Blagdon, who is also one of the football club’s official doctors, made sure that winter flu was left firmly offside by delivering the jabs.
Spireites coach Mark Crossley said: “A flu epidemic in the dressing room could seriously affect the squad and have an impact on the team’s results so the players try to avoid that by getting their flu jab.”
Dr Blagdon, who is also keen to keep flu at bay in workplaces across the area, awarded three points to the decision, saying: “It makes sense for everyone to make sure they have a flu jab this winter.”
He added: “Flu is passed on through close personal contact, so anyone can be affected.
“It makes very good sense for the players and staff at Chesterfield FC to take this very sensible precaution.”
Dr Bruce Laurence, acting director of public health for NHS Derbyshire, added: “We’d urge anyone who is most at risk of catching flu to kick the virus into touch by getting the jab to protect themselves against this potentially deadly virus. It could mean the difference between life and death.
“Another bad winter is being forecast, and there may be lots of flu around again this year as there was last year, which means we all need to be prepared and forearm ourselves against the effects of the virus . Serious reactions to the vaccine are extremely rare – although quite a few people will get a sore arm or feel a bit off colour for a day or two. It is scientifically impossible to get flu itself from the vaccine.”
Patients wanting to book an appointment to have their jab should contact their GP. Help and information on the flu and its symptoms is freely available from NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
The vaccine is offered free of charge to the over 65s, all pregnant women, asthma sufferers, diabetics, children aged six months and over in an at risk group, people diagnosed with heart disease and long-term illness, frontline health workers, carers and people living in long stay residential care homes.
Pictured is Spireites coach Mark Crossley, Dr Mark Blagdon.