KATE Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston, has urged those at risk of catching flu to get their free vaccine jab before winter sets in.

Kate’s call comes after the Chief Medical Officer warned last week that flu and complications associated with it cause 8,000 deaths on average a year in England.

Figures show that last year, over 27,000 people missed out on protection across Trafford.

To be eligible to receive a free flu jab you must be: 65-years-old or over, receive a carer's allowance, or the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill, are pregnant, have certain medical conditions, are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility, or are a child aged two to nine-years-old.

This week Ms Green attended an event in Parliament for MPs to get their flu jab. The MP had the jab in exchange for a donation to the Carer’s Trust.

Kate said: “Getting the flu can be bad enough for even the fittest of us, but for older people and those with long-term conditions in particular it can cause serious health problems.

“Getting the flu jab is easy, and offers the best chance of avoiding the flu that we have.

“I’d therefore urge all those eligible for a free jab – including all care home staff - to speak to your GP or local pharmacist and get your vaccination booked in before the cold weather sets in.”

In the Trafford area last year:

• 9,275 older people missed out on their jab

• A further 12,800 working age people with long-term conditions also didn’t get the vaccine.

• Thousands of young children (two to four-year-olds) also didn’t get the vaccine, including 150 who were classed as being at greater risk.

• 1,000 pregnant women with no long-term conditions and 130 pregnant women with long-term conditions also didn’t get protected.

More information on eligibility for the flu jab, and other tips on staying well this winter can be found at www.nhs.uk/staywell.