It seems to me that there are three groups of people in the world.

Firstly there are those lucky people who have never had the flu.

Then there are those who have experienced it, so know how absolutely awful it makes you feel.

And finally there are those who have never had the flu, but think they have.

These include all those people who have ever taken a day’s sick leave because they “had a touch of flu” – and were back at work the next day.

That wasn’t the flu. It was only a cold.

I can say this with some certainty – not because I have any medical qualifications, but because I have had the flu three times in my life, and each time I spent at least a week unable to even raise my head off the pillow.

By contrast, a cold is a walk in the park.

But as wretched as it makes you feel, the symptoms of flu are nothing compared with the potential consequences.

If you spend two minutes researching it on bona fide medical websites, you soon learn that the complications can easily turn catastrophic – and not just for vulnerable people, or older guys like me.

I recommend you visit a website called Families Fighting Flu.

It’s an American site, set up by the loved ones of people who didn’t live to tell their own flu stories, including one beautiful young woman who clearly had everything to live for, but died at the age of 20.

Another victim escaped with her life, but not all of her fingers, and none of her toes.

And yet there is a weapon that offers phenomenally effective protection against flu, which is, of course, the vaccine.

It couldn’t have been easier for me to get a flu jab this year, because I am a volunteer in the car park at the Covid (and now also flu) vaccination centre at STEAM.

So, as much as needles give me the willies, I didn’t hesitate.

Anybody can easily get one – either by booking an appointment, turning up on special walk-in flu jab days, or taking the option if offered it at the same time as the Covid vaccine.

In the end it’s none of my business whether people opt for the flu vaccine or not, but I am interested when they offer an opinion, and those who choose not to have it are often keen to talk about it.

Most of them say they don’t think it is necessary because they have never had flu before.

Presumably they must also believe that because they have never been in a serious car crash, they must be immune from those, too.

But most worrying are those who reject the vaccine because they don’t like to be told what to do, and it is their right to say no.

They somehow think this gives them a unique kind of personal freedom – and maybe they are right.

Indeed, it wouldn’t surprise me if they ended up as the freest people in the graveyard.