A DOCTOR has warned of the potentially life-saving impact of vaccination as the fight against flu in Cumbria intensifies.

Dr Amanda Boardman, who works as a GP in the county, is among those speaking out to ensure that all who are eligible for jabs take them up.

Cold weather - such as that which has bitten over the weekend - can sometimes see cases of flu go on the rise.

Dr Boardman said: “The flu jab is a simple procedure which could ultimately save lives. You shouldn’t wait until there is a flu outbreak and you should get the vaccination as soon as possible, especially if you are in an ‘at risk’ category.

“The option of the nasal vaccination is available for children and people with learning disabilities who require reasonable adjustment, ensuring that they are protected with this painless and effective process.

“Cold weather can often cause symptoms of illness, but many of them can be tackled by taking some simple steps and by visiting your local pharmacy.

“Remember to keep warm, if you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heat your home to at least 18C.

“Also make sure that if you have elderly relatives please make sure they are drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.”

Free vaccinations are available to adults aged 65 and over, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, frontline health and social care workers, people with learning disabilities and their carers, and children aged two to 10.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s director of public health, said: “Vaccine remains the best defence we have to protect against the spread of flu.

“If you’ve not had your jab, it’s not too late. It’s available from most GP surgeries and local pharmacies.”

Medical advice can be sought by calling NHS 111.