Ah autumn, season of mists, mellow fruitfulness, and the annual flu jab.

No-one ever enjoys having a needle stuck in their arm - well, maybe an odd few - but as a sea dog with more salt than pepper in my moustache, it’s something I accept has to happen.

This week the NHS launched their flu campaign, and down in Cornwall with our older population growing, not to mention students arriving with their own antibodies, vaccination we should be taking seriously.

Some upstart DJ this week took to the internet claiming that vaccines are full of toxic metals, blathering about neurotoxins and generally chatting through his sporran. And every year the antivaxxer campaign (look them up if you fancy a laugh) revives false claims linking flu shots to all sorts of other ills.

Both of these spurious claims should have been laid to rest years ago, refuted by plenty of scientific evidence.

What the evidence does point to, however, is the importance of vaccines not just for the recipients, but for those close to them.

Do you have a small child who can’t have the jab, or a beloved nonagenarian aunt who’s susceptible to all manner of ills? 

Herd immunity, reducing the threat of infection to the most vulnerable by protecting those around them, only works if we all pull together as a society.

Instead of listening to celebrities and reading social media posts about how vaccines harm you and your loved ones, maybe look at the good they do?

Why be an idiot, it’s only a harmless little prick?