The NHS urges people with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) to get their flu vaccine

People with a high BMI are being encouraged to take up the offer of having their free flu vaccine.

We understand that it's been harder than normal to maintain a healthy weight during lockdown periods this year, but having a BMI of over 40 puts you at an increased risk of having complications associated with flu.

Just under a third of patients with a high BMI have had their flu vaccination this year and so people are being encouraged to come forward and take up the offer of the free jab.

Dr Matt Nisbet, GP in Hampshire, said: “I encourage all people with a high BMI of over 40 to get their flu vaccine.

“In practical terms this means if you are 5ft 7ins and your weight is over 18 stone or if you are 6ft and your weight is over 21 stone.

“Flu can be really unpleasant and we want to protect as many patients as possible this year.

 “It's really important for you to be protected this winter.”

Watch a video of Dr Matt Nisbet explaining why it's important to get the flu jab.

Patients can get their vaccines from their GP practice or local pharmacy.  

While the covid vaccination programme has started, it's important to note that currently those aged 80 and over, people in care homes and frontline health and care workers are being prioritised for it.

If you have a high BMI, it's important to continue to get your flu jab and not wait for your covid vaccination invitation.

Everyone is reminded not to contact their surgeries about the covid vaccination – it is being given strictly by invitation only.