FAMOUS Welsh actor Michael Sheen has urged people in North Wales to get the flu vaccinations “as soon as you can” ahead of the winter period.

Mr Sheen, who has starred in hit films including The Queen and Twilight, said “it is more important than ever” that people across the region ensure they are protected from the winter flu to reduce pressure on the NHS.

He spoke in a video with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), which provides a free vaccine to vulnerable adults, two and three-year-olds, people aged over 65 and frontline workers.

More than 2,400 people in North Wales were admitted to hospital due to flu symptoms in 2019 with 120 receiving treatment in intensive care units.

Mr Sheen said: “We all know how busy the NHS have been over the last few months, dealing with the effects of Covid-19. Most of us have stood on our steps clapping for the every Thursday.

“Well they still need our support. They need our help to keep another potentially deadly virus at bay.

“Last year more than 2,000 people in Wales were admitted to hospital because of flu, and it can be deadly.

“Covid-19 is still circulating and we hear concerns of a second wave this winter. Therefore this year it is more important than ever that you play your part in reducing the impact flu has on our hospitals.

“Protect yourself, your community and your NHS. Please get the flu vaccination as soon as you can.

Flu is a respiratory illness affecting the lungs and airways. The virus changes annually and the NHS administers annual vaccines to protect patients from serious symptoms.

For more information about the flu vaccination or whether you are eligible for a free vaccination, contact your GP or visit bcuhb.nhs.wales