A doctor is urging people who are most vulnerable to catching the flu to get vaccinated this winter.

Dr Anwar Khan, chairman of NHS Waltham Forest CCG and a GP in the borough, said it is “vitally important” for at-risk group to take up the offer of the free NHS jab.

He said: “Flu has the potential to be really serious – causing complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia for those with underlying health conditions, and in some cases it can be fatal.

“That’s why it’s so important that people in the high risk groups make an appointment with their GP to get their flu jab.

“The vaccine is updated every year to combat the latest strains of the flu virus so if you are in a high risk group and had the jab last year, you will need another one this year. I’ve recently had my own flu jab done.”

Flu is a highly contagious viral infection that is most common over the winter months.

Getting the flu jab or nasal spray is one of the most effective ways to reduce potential harm from the seasonal flu virus.

The vaccination is offered for free to groups at increased risk from the effects of flu, including toddlers aged two and three, schoolchildren in reception class and Years 1 to 5, pregnant women, pensioners and those with long-term health conditions.

To get your vaccine or find out if you are eligible, contact your GP practice or speak to a pharmacist for more information.