A MAJOR campaign to protect families against flu has been launched amid warnings that a potentially deadly strain of flu may be heading to East Lancashire.

Dr Pervez Muzaffar, who made the warning in August, said there is evidence of an unprecedented surge in cases of influenza A virus H3N2, dubbed the ‘Aussie flu’, which could kill if people don't get vaccinated.

Vaccination and the importance of it is now the theme of an annual campaign encouraging families to vaccinate their children against flu.

Dr Preeti Shukla, a GP in Blackburn and a clinical lead at Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “A big ‘thank you’ to all the parents who made the decision to vaccinate their children against flu last year.

"You protected your child and your wider family from a very serious illness.

“But we are still falling short of the 60 per cent target for all eligible schoolchildren.

"And unfortunately the number of two and three year olds who had the flu nasal spray in East Lancashire is still one of the lowest in Lancashire.

Dr Shukla said that older children with underlying health conditions are also eligible for the flu vaccination but are not receiving the vaccination.

"So we need to ensure that we don’t forget about them too," she added.