A Hartlepool councillor is leading by example in encouraging people to get a flu jab.
Fens and Rossmere Councillor Bob Buchan visited the Well Pharmacy in Catcote Road to get his vaccination from its qualified team.
The pharmacy is starting to give patients the injections now as part of a Public Health England campaign for people to be vaccinated sooner rather than later against the dangerous disease.
Last winter saw a higher level of flu activity which health chiefs say is an important reminder that flu can have a significant impact and is highly unpredictable.
Yasmeen Afsar, pharmacy manager at Well Hartlepool, said: “My team and I were absolutely delighted that Bob visited our pharmacy to protect himself against flu this season.
“It’s fantastic to have his support with this life-saving service.
“I would recommend that everyone who can get a flu jab, gets a flu jab.
“The vaccination helps to protect you, your family, and other people in your local community from the virus who may be at high risk of serious illnesses like pneumonia or even death if they contracted it.
“Just pop in to our pharmacy to ask about your flu jab – you don’t even need an appointment.”
Well pharmacy offers flu jabs for free if eligible on the NHS, or £10 for customers who are not.
People who are eligible for free jabs include those aged 65 and over, pregnant women, people in long-stay residential care homes, and people under 65 in clinical risk groups.
Last year saw record levels of vaccinations with nearly one and a half million more people getting the flu jab.
The NHS is aiming for an uptake rate this year of 75% in the 65 and over age category and at least 55% in all clinical risk groups.
Although the vaccinations are available up until March next year, people are advised to get the jab as soon as possible to provide the best protection before flu starts to circulate.
Ideally the vaccination should be had by the end of November.