Published Wed, 2011-09-28 14:17; updated 4 years ago.

A range of people in the West Midlands, both old and young, are at risk from the effects of flu and should get vaccinated this autumn, says the Government.

The highly-infectious seasonal influenza, which strikes mostly during winter, can cause symptoms ranging from fever to extreme fatigue.

Although most people recover from flu after a week, the illness can be complicated by bronchitis, secondary bacterial pneumonia or, in children, otitis media. These complications are more likely to occur if the body is already weakened in some way.

You are more vulnerable to the effects of flu if you fall into one or more of the following groups:

If you fall into any of the above at-risk groups, the Government recommends that you have a flu jab every autumn, because the virus is constantly changing.

Being vaccinated won't prevent colds and coughs, but it will protect against the strains of the flu virus that the World Health Organisation has identified as a risk in the current flu season.

Being vaccinated is simple and quick and rarely causes problems.  If you are in any doubt about your condition and whether it is advisable for you to have a flu jab, contact your GP or practice nurse. For more information, visit the NHS Choices website