Catching flu could make you seriously ill and make complications such as pneumonia and shortage of breath more likely. Studies have shown that the flu jab does work in helping to prevent the flu and is the best protection against an unpredictable

virus that can affect at risk groups such as the elderly and frail, pregnant women, babies etc.  Although it is not 100 per cent guarantee that you will be flu free but if you get flu after vaccination the symptoms should be milder and shorter lived than would

otherwise have been. Evidence shows that the flu jab can reduce the risk of having a stroke.

People are often concerned about any side effects caused by the flu jab but side effects of the injected vaccine are very rare. You may experience a slight temperature and aching muscles and be a little sore where you were injected. This

soreness can be eased by moving your arm occasionally and applying a heat pad or if the spot is hot then use a cold compress. Taking paracetamol can ease any pain.

Last winter flu left more than 2000 people needing life -or-death treatment in intensive care units but unfortunately 200 people did not make it. By the fourth week of January this year, 45% of pregnant women received the winter flu vaccination

with 47% of under 65 and 72% over the age who are in a clinical risk group owing to an underlying condition such as diabetes and asthma.

A word of caution. Sanofi the French pharmaceutical giant who supply vaccines to the UK (7 million doses) of vaccine are very concerned that the uncertainty of the Brexit situation could mean in severe delays in products reaching UK. Unfortunately,

the jab cannot be stockpiled because the vaccine can only be manufactured a month before vaccinations take place. Book your Jab early with your GP to reserve your vaccination.