Free flu vaccines are available until the end of march for eligible groups.

The vaccines are provided by local NHS teams, and those eligible include children aged two, three, and up to year 11 in school, high-risk children from six months to 17 years old, those aged 65 or above, those with long-term health conditions, pregnant women, and frontline healthcare workers.

Rachael Corser, chief nursing officer at Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, said: "As we hit peak flu season, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself as soon as possible.

"It takes about a week to 10 days after vaccination before your body starts making antibodies to the flu virus.

"These antibodies help protect you against similar viruses you may come into contact with."

She added: "Flu can be a nasty experience, even for those who are usually fit and well. It can lead to serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

"Older people and those with underlying conditions are more likely to experience serious complications and need to be admitted to hospital."

"Flu infection during pregnancy can also have serious consequences for both mother and baby, so the message to anyone eligible for the vaccine is: please don’t put your vaccination off."

Free flu vaccinations can be accessed at participating local pharmacies.

Stay Well BOB and NHS websites provide information on how and where these vaccines can be obtained.