A DOCTER has urged all older people, pregnant women and carers to make sure that they have the winter flu jab.

Castle Practise in Lugershall has issued the warning in a bid to make sure that as many people most at risk of illness benefit from the free vaccination.

As an extra safety measure, all staff at the GP surgery have also had the jab to prevent illnesses spreading at the health clinic.

Dr Toby Davies, GP at Castle Practice said: “We have a duty to safeguard our patients, and the best way we can do that during winter is to have the flu vaccination. That way we are protecting ourselves from catching flu and at the same time helping to protect our patients, friends and families."

Flu, short for influenza, is a common infectious viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes. Many people who catch it will begin to feel better within a week, but for some it can be more serious.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, chairman of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) added: “Flu is not just a bad cold – it can be a really serious illness for some people and it doesn’t just affect older people.

"The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus, especially for those most at risk, including pregnant women, young children and those with long term conditions, such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes.

"We urge those in high risk groups to have their flu vaccination now, it’s free and you can arrange to have it at your GP Surgery or see if your pharmacist is providing the flu vaccination service.”

Winter flu has been described as a highly infectious disease which can change every year, making the vaccination a key action to prevent illness.

For more information about how to get the flu jab and staying well this winter visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk