Health bosses are encouraging older people to have their free flu vaccination and get protected against the virus ahead of winter.

Stocks of the flu vaccine designed for over 65s are fully available – meaning anyone who still needs the jab can get it before the flu season hits. With flu rates currently low, there is still time for older people to protect themselves against the flu as well as its side effects which, in some cases, can lead to hospitalisation.

The free vaccination is available at GP surgeries and pharmacies across the borough.

Dr Jeffrey Schryer, Chair of NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Rates of flu are currently low, but we are expecting flu season to properly start to hit in the next few weeks.

This year there is a specific vaccination that has been developed especially for older people. Getting the vaccination is the best possible way for people to protect themselves and those around them.”

The NHS is also providing free flu vaccinations for other at-risk groups such as pregnant women and people with long-term conditions. There is also a nasal spray, which works better for children, and is free of charge.

Dr. Schryer continues: “Flu is something to take very seriously. Catching flu at any age can make you very ill, and can lead to a stay in hospital and in the worst cases, death. I strongly encourage everyone in an at-risk group to contact their GP surgery to book an appointment or visit their local community pharmacy to get their jab.”

Find out more about the flu vaccination at www.NHS.uk