Emily Andrea praises Love Island star Priya Gopaldas for promoting the NHS

Emily Andrea has praised Love Island star Priya Gopaldas for using her newfound fame to promote the NHS and encourage youngsters to get vaccinated.

In her weekly OK! column, the mum of two said it is a "great way" for the former islander to use her platform. Emily also chats about Amanda Holden's choice to go on holiday without her family and maternity leave rights.

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Love Island star Priya Gopaldas is using her villa publicity to aid the NHS and encourage teenagers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 through a campaign which focuses on 16 and 17-year-olds in particular.

I think this is a great way for her to use her platform to speak out about what she believes in. It’s important to do, and it’s something I’ve always tried to do myself. For me the data is showing that the vaccine is doing its job, as we’ve seen a big spike in cases but we haven’t seen the same levels of hospitalisation and deaths that we’ve seen with previous spikes. Previously, such a big increase in cases had led to much worse pressure on the NHS and, for me, the main difference is the vaccine.

We know it’s not 100% effective, as is the case with any vaccine, but to me it’s clearly helping to protect people from severe illness, so working down the priority groups is good. The 16 to 17-years-old age group will be going back to school and college soon and we’ve got winter coming up, so it is the next logical step.

If you have any concerns about the vaccine, you shouldn’t hesitate to speak to a professional to find out more. I can’t stress enough how important it is to not be afraid to seek help if you’re worried about something health related.

As a doctor, I can safely say we’ve seen it all before so there’s nothing to be embarrassed about or afraid of, especially if it’s worrying you.

Men can delay going to the doctor more than women sometimes. This can be for all sorts of reasons, like finding it difficult to talk about how they feel and trying to brush it under the carpet, but it’s important to speak up if you’re concerned.

Maternity leave shouldn't lead to discrimination

Last week, I saw online that a mum was voicing her concern over her third pregnancy, as it would mean a third maternity leave. It was posted in a forum and lots of people told her to expect to be made redundant.

The law says that you shouldn’t be unfairly dismissed, unfairly treated or discriminated against because of pregnancy, childbirth or maternity leave.

This applies throughout the pregnancy and until the end of your maternity leave period. There is loads of advice available online if you are worried you are experiencing any of these things. For every person on this Earth, someone has gone through a pregnancy and childbirth, so we should support anyone going through this journey.

Taking time out should be celebrated

Amanda Holden recently announced on social media that she was taking a solo holiday to spend some quality time alone without her husband and kids in tow.

She revealed she was scared about her decision to fly solo for a while after years of putting her duties as a mum and wife first, but I think it’s great that she’s taking time for herself.

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As a parent you can sometimes feel guilty for admitting that you want that time by yourself or quiet time away from your family. I went for a long time where I would never admit that I wanted to have time alone every now and again. It was only fairly recently that I realised that to be a good parent you need to look after yourself.

It is rare that I get any time on my own but that suits me fine as I love being with the family. The odd few hours in the evening or when the kids are at school is enough to recharge my batteries.

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