NHS and council leaders are asking people to get the flu jab this year in what will be the biggest vaccination campaign ever.

Each year the flu vaccination is available to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications, with more people eligible for the free vaccination this year.

Those who are in certain at risk categories, such as over 65 and under 65s with a long-term condition, are more likely to be at risk of developing complications if they catch flu.

Dr Michele Legg, GP and chair of NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We will be vaccinating more people than ever as we have expanded the groups of people eligible for the free flu jab.

“We know some people will be feeling anxious, worried or scared about having their vaccination, however it is far better to be protected from flu, than go without.”

This year, the NHS is aiming to vaccinate around 4.5 million people in the South East — up from 2.6 million last winter.

The programme includes, children in school Year 7, and household contacts and carers of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, are all eligible for the free vaccination.

These groups are in addition to people aged over 65, those under 65 with long-term health conditions, pregnant women, children aged two and three and children in primary school.

Read more: Flu jabs start on the Isle of Wight

Simon Bryant, the council’s director of public health, said: “This year with both the flu virus and Covid-19 circulating, immunisation is more important than ever to reduce infections, protect each other and save lives."

Read more: Big push for flu jabs on the Isle of Wight

If you have a high temperature, new, continuous cough or loss of taste and smell, do not visit your GP practice or pharmacy.

Instead, self-isolate and contact 119 or visit NHS.uk/coronavirus to book a coronavirus test.

If you test positive for coronavirus do not attend a flu clinic, contact them to rearrange your appointment.