DOCTORS are worried people in Knutsford may not be going for flu jabs because of mistaken fears the vaccine may be risky.

Medical professionals have reported a lower uptake of the jab despite reassurances this year’s vaccine is safe and even protects against H1N1 swine flu.

Flu vaccination uptake rates are 10 per cent lower than expected at this point in the flu season.

The jabs are offered to patients over the age of 65, those with a health condition, pregnant women and carers each year between September and January to protect them from the complications of catching flu.

Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust is extremely worried some patients may be risking serious illness, particularly those more susceptible to complications from flu.

Flu infections among these patients can affect the heart, lungs and other organ systems, which can result in a stay in hospital.

In some cases the infections can be deadly and many of these admissions could be avoided with a simple vaccination.

Dr Guy Hayhurst, consultant in public health for the trust, said: “We are aware some people have expressed concerns about the swine flu strain being part of this year’s seasonal flu vaccine.

“Last year some people worried that because the vaccine was new, it was insufficiently tested. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“We are anxious to reassure patients it is quite normal to include more than one strain of flu in the vaccine.”

If you want to book a flu jab contact your GP.