GPs are warning residents to get their flu vaccinations.

Many GP practices across north east Essex will soon be holding flu vaccination clinics for their registered patients and those people in at-risk groups are being encouraged to attend.

You are entitled to a free NHS flu vaccination if you are aged 65 or over, are pregnant, are a carer for an elderly person, living in a residential home, have a heart or immune system problem, a young child or a frontline health or social care worker.

Dr Hasan Chowhan, a GP in Colchester and chairman of NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Flu vaccination is absolutely vital for at-risk groups and is the best way to protect your health ahead of flu season. In vulnerable people such as pregnant women or those with long-term conditions, flu can result in severe complications that can be fatal.

“It is important to remember flu is more than just a ‘bad cold’ – it is a highly infectious viral illness.

"Those who have regular contact with vulnerable people, including carers, frontline healthcare workers and young children, may spread the illness, even if they have no symptoms.

“The flu vaccine is free for at-risk groups and is available at a range of convenient locations, including pharmacies and GP surgeries. Please ensure you protect your health and the health of your family by having the vaccine at the earliest opportunity.”