People living with a long-term health condition are being urged to protect themselves from becoming seriously ill with a free flu jab after fewer than half took up the offer last year.
The NHS says these people have a greater risk of becoming seriously ill from flu than others and just 47 per cent of them in East Sussex were protected from flu with the free vaccine last winter.
An NHS spokesman said: “Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious health complications for those with an underlying condition such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease or a chronic neurological disease like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy.
“The flu vaccine is offered free to anyone with these serious long-term health conditions, as they are far more likely than a healthy adult to become very ill if the get the flu and could even be admitted to hospital with complications.”
Those who live with someone who has a weakened immune system may also be advised to have a flu vaccine by their GP.
Dr David Warden, clinical chair for NHS Hastings and Rother CCG, said: “Flu on top of long term health conditions increases your chance of serious health complications and can even result in hospital treatment.
“We are offering anyone with an underlying health condition a free flu jab as vaccination is the single best defence against what can be a very serious illness.”
Find out more about the flu vaccine at www.nhs.uk