PEOPLE have been urged to take up their flu jabs to avoid a surge in the respiratory disease.

NHS Blackburn with Darwen and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups have launched a 'Protect Your Family' campaign to urge all eligible people to get vaccinated against influenza this year.

The flu jab is free to everyone aged 50 and over; everyone under 65 years of age with a long term health condition; all pregnant women; all two and three-year-old children; all primary school pupils; all Year 7 to Year 11 secondary school-aged children; everyone living in a residential or nursing home; everyone who cares for an older or disabled person; and all frontline health and social care workers.

Cllr Damian Talbot, Blackburn with Darwen Council's public health boss, said: "With the continued risk of Covid-19, it is extremely important that as many people as possible take up their free flu vaccination.

"By getting the flu vaccination you will not only be giving yourself protection but helping to protect your loved ones, families, colleagues and the most vulnerable members of the community at a time when it is most needed.”

GP Dr David White, the clinical lead for urgent care across Pennine Lancashire, said: "As we approach the winter months, it is really important that everyone takes all the necessary steps to keep themselves as well and safe as possible. This includes making sure people take up the offer as soon as possible of the free flu vaccination if eligible.

"We know that with Covid-19 still circulating, we need to reduce all avoidable risks."