When the Loxton News was merged with the Murray Pioneer and I stopped writing for the local press, I promised to help bring the Loxton Health Centre website up to speed and publish a regular column on that instead.

Well, it’s taken a while, but here it is.

And remember, you asked for it!

I am reminded of the saying, “Be careful what you wish for – you might just get it”.

It’s one of my favourites but its origins are rather controversial.  Chinese historians claim it was coined in Asia thousands of years ago and similar thoughts were attributed to the Israelites wandering in the wilderness during their escape from Egypt.

King Midas, who was supposedly one of the royal family of Phrygia approximately 800 years BC, was famously tricked into vainly praying for the ability to change everything he touched into gold. He, of course, died heartbroken and starving after turning his next of kin and pizza into beautiful, precious but inanimate ornaments.

Aesop, born in 620 BC also wrote fables about people selling their souls to the devil for special talents which turned out to be curses in disguise.

Numerous modern authors have written books titled “Be Careful What You Wish For”.

There is a recent movie based on one of these, but my favourite film on the theme is “Bedazzled”, released in 1967 and starring Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Raquel Welch – an A Grade flick you should dig out of the archive.   And now the segue you’ve been waiting for………

You needn’t be concerned about wishing for a Covid vaccine – but there are some considerations. Our health centre has AstraZeneca vaccines – arriving at regular intervals – and you can book for one of these if you are over the age of 16, although the official position remains that Pfizer is the preferred vaccine for anyone under the age of 60.

We will book your second A-Z dose 12 weeks after the first but, in some situations, where completing the course is more urgent, the gap can be reduced.   The Pfizer vaccine is preferred because of the small but real risk of blood clots associated with the A-Z vaccine. The clots arise within days or weeks of the vaccine. They are potentially serious, but evidence suggests that if you are aware of the possibility and report symptoms (e.g. headache, belly-ache, chest pain or leg pain) promptly, treatment is effective and fatalities extremely rare. We do not have access to the Pfizer vaccine yet, but we will inform you when we do.

In my mind there is no question about whether to get a vaccine – you all should – but it is reasonable to think about which one and how long you are prepared to wait – weighing up the minuscule risk associated with the A-Z vaccine against its virtually immediate availability. It’s good to have choice but not always easy. Just ask Midas.

Dr Peter Hamilton