Asthma UK Northern Ireland is urging parents of children with asthma to have their children vaccinated against flu.
According to the Public Health Agency, 17 people have died of swine flu in Northern Ireland this season.
Joan O'Hagan, Director of Asthma UK Northern Ireland said: 'We urge the 182,000 people with asthma in Northern Ireland to have the swine flu vaccine. Although swine flu is mild in most cases, people with asthma are at risk of serious breathing complications such as pneumonia if they do develop the illness.'
The free seasonal flu vaccine includes protection against swine flu. People with asthma should be invited to their GP practice to receive the vaccine. If this has not happened, they are advised to contact their GP practice to schedule a vaccination.
The vaccine should also be available from most pharmacies. However, some high-street pharmacy chains, such as Boots, Sainsbury's and Tesco, will not provide the vaccine to anyone under 16.
Concerned parents can speak to your doctor or asthma nurse, or call the Asthma UK Adviceline in confidence on 0800 121 62 44.