HEALTH chiefs are drawing up battle plans for their annual fight against flu.
The time is approaching for vulnerable people to be vaccinated in the yearly campaign.
From next month, a national campaign will begin to encourage the elderly and sick to have a flu jab to protect them against the highly infectious disease this winter.
For vulnerable groups, flu can have lasting effects and can even be fatal.
Each year, hospitals have the added strain of an influx of hundreds of patients with flu.
In Kirklees, primary care trusts will be advertising free jabs for people aged over 65 and people with long-term health problems, such as heart disease, severe asthma, kidney problems and diabetes.
People who have lower immunity due to a disease or treatment are also eligible for a free injection, as are people in long-term residential care.
NHS staff, non-paid carers and social services workers who are employed in care situations will also get free jabs.
Maureen Mellodew, communications officer at Huddersfield Central Primary Care Trust, said: "If elderly people, or people with underlying illnesses, get flu, the effects can do them much more harm. It can have lasting effects.
"We want to get as many people vaccinated as possible."
She added: "The vaccine was very effective last year. We have Government targets for numbers of people within vulnerable groups that should be immunised and we are on target."
The jabs are given through normal GP appointments, although some surgeries set up special clinics to deal with the immunisations.
Flu jabs work by injecting a vaccine containing three strains of the flu virus into the body. After 10 days, the body makes antibodies to fight the virus.
This helps the body fight off similar viruses, but will not keep the common winter cold at bay.
The flu jabs are safe and allergic reactions are rare.
But pregnant women or people with an allergy to hen's eggs should not have the jab. Anyone in doubt about whether they need the jab should ask their GP.