The Chair and Vice Chair of the Health and Adults Scrutiny Committee at Blackburn with Darwen Council have urged people to have their flu jab this winter.
Chair Councillor Roy Whittle and Vice Chair Councillor Tony Humphrys are encouraging people in the borough to protect themselves and their families.
Older people, pregnant women, children aged two to eight and those with long term conditions are eligible to have the vaccination for free at their local GP surgery.
Anyone else can still have the vaccine at any local pharmacy for a small cost.
The Council is supporting a major drive to improve the take-up of the flu vaccination by NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which commissions or “buys” local health services on behalf of the population.
NHS bosses have issued a flu warning following a recent outbreak in Australia and New Zealand which it is feared could spread to the UK.
As part of the CCG’s campaign, local GPs and councillors have been urging parents/guardians/carers to vaccinate their children against flu. The vaccination not only protects the child, more importantly it helps stop the spread of the illness especially to those older members of the family such as grandparents.
Children are the main spreaders of the virus which can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition.
Cllr Whittle said: “It is your personal choice whether to have the vaccine and whether to vaccinate your children if you have any but if you are eligible, the vaccine is free because you need it.
“For others, it is very low cost and the vaccine can save lives. Any side effects are minimal and nothing compared to the flu itself.
“When people understand that there is a serious the risk of children or a member of their family being hospitalised by flu and if they think their family is at risk, then they should have the vaccination.”
For further information about flu, please log onto www.blackburnwithdarwenccg.nhs.uk