North Yorkshire County Council and health professionals across the county are urging residents to take up the flu vaccination.
Flu jabs are available free of charge for people aged 65 and over; anyone with a serious medical condition; and for people who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person.
Pregnant women, children aged two and three as well as school children from reception class through to year 4 are also eligible for the free flu vaccine – as a quick nasal spray – not an injection.
County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, executive member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing, said: “Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week.
“However, flu can be more serious for some people; anyone aged 65 and over; pregnant women; children and adults with an underlying health condition, particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease. It’s also serious for children and adults with weakened immune systems.
“Anyone in these at-risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications such as lung infections – including pneumonia – if they get flu, so it’s recommended that they have a flu jab every year to protect them.
“Please ask at your GP surgery or call into your local chemist to find out more about the free jab and if you’re eligible for one.
“Flu can be horrible for children and can spread to the whole family. It can cause serious complications during pregnancy and the flu jab is the safest way to protect you and your baby against flu.”
“You can have it at any stage of pregnancy, however fit and healthy you might feel.”