People are being urged to protect themselves against the flu to help them stay fit and healthy this coming winter.
Bedford Borough Council is reminding people to get vaccinated to prevent being struck down by the highly infectious bug.
Influenza - more commonly known as the flu - can lead to complications, especially in vulnerable people, which can cause hospital admissions and even death.
Last year 1,091 Bedford residents were admitted to hospital with flu-related complications, with a cost of £4 million to the health service. Of those people, 203 died.
During the same period 34,165 people in Bedford borough received a free flu vaccination, but another 23,879 who were eligible did not.
The jab can reduce the chances of getting flu and its complications by 70 per cent and reduced the risk of death fro,m flu by 80 per cent.
Councillor Louise Jackson, who oversees public health at the borough council, said: “The flu vaccine stimulates your body’s immune system to make antibodies which attack the flu virus. It is really important that people have a flu vaccination to protect both themselves and others.”
It is free to those aged 65 and over, those aged six months to 65 with a serious medical condition, pregnant women, all two, three and four year olds, all children in Years One and Two, those in long stay residential care or homes and unpaid carers.
For more information on the flu vaccination, visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/flu-influenza-vaccine.aspx