The Health Service Executive has issued major warning to people who have a secondary illness to get vaccinated against influenza as figures suggest uptake last year was well below World Health Organization targets.
Research shows that flu has caused up to 1,000 deaths in Ireland during a severe season and that it is easily spread.
The HSE is urging those in at-risk groups to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
This includes everyone over the age of 65, anyone suffering from a chronic illness, pregnant women, residents of nursing homes and healthcare workers.
Anyone with flu symptoms, which include a high temperature, sore muscles, headache, cough and sore throat, is urged to stay at home.
The vaccine and consultation are free for those with a medical card or GP visit card and is highly recommended.