Karen Howell, chief executive, Wirral Community Health and Care Foundation Trust, writes for the Globe.

EVERY year the communications team at the Trust ask if they can photograph me having my flu jab to support the staff flu vaccination campaign.

Imagine how thrilled I was when this year they asked if they could film me having it done - the things I do for work!

But seriously, it was a no-brainer if it would encourage staff to have their jab. So they filmed me having my jab – seriously!

Over the last two years there have been over 28,000 flu-related deaths in England.

So I can't emphasise enough how important it is that we all get vaccinated, in order to protect ourselves, our families and the people we care for.

We take flu really seriously in the NHS.

Every year we see thousands of the people we care for struck down by this debilitating virus.

It can strike anyone, of any age, no matter how healthy or fit they are.

If you have ever had flu or seen a friend or relative suffering from it, you will know first-hand that it's not a heavy cold!

Full blown Influenza can strike people down for days and even weeks, leave them completely bed-ridden, when even the thought of moving is impossible and just breathing is painful.

It's horrendous.

Flu can be more serious for some people, particularly if you are aged 65 or over, pregnant, have an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease) or a weakened immune system.

If you're in any of these risk groups, it's recommended you have a flu vaccine every year to help protect you.

If you're not eligible for a free vaccine, you can still have one at many high street pharmacies for a small cost.

Some people can carry the virus without any symptoms, and can then inadvertently pass it on.

So the best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated.

Over the coming weeks our school nurses will also be giving a nasal spray vaccine to thousands of school children across Wirral and Cheshire East.

By giving consent for your child to be vaccinated, you are making sure they don’t inadvertently pass the virus on to anyone else in your family.

There's lots more information about the flu vaccine on the NHS website or talk to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist.

There's a second good reason for our staff to get vaccinated this year; as well as protecting themselves, their families and the people they care for from flu, they are protecting a child from the life-threatening measles virus.

For every one flu vaccination we administer, we are donating one full measles vaccination (via two doses) to Unicef.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world.

It kills 367 children every day.

Yet in can be completely prevented with two doses of a safe, effective and inexpensive vaccine.

So be like us – protect yourself from flu today.