The HSE is launching its seasonal flu vaccination campaign today.
Figures show there were 222 direct deaths from flu in Ireland last season, with more than 600 who died indirectly from it.
People with long term health conditions, healthcare workers and pregnant women are all urged to get the vaccine.
Mairead Hayes from the Senior Citizens Parliament has encouraged older people to look into getting it:
"As an older person myself, I've had my flu vaccine and I'm encouraging all older people to get it.
"It's very debilitating during any winter if you get the flu so the best thing is if you have any doubts, speak to your doctor, but do investigate it."
HSE’s flu vaccine lead, Dr John Cuddihy said: "Recent national uptake figures indicate that 68.5% of people aged 65 and over who hold a medical card or GP visit card received the flu vaccine during the 2018-2019 flu season, a substantial increase on last year when the uptake rate was 57.6%.
"The flu vaccine is the best defence against flu, yet every year many people in the at-risk groups fail to get vaccinated and so put themselves at risk of serious illness or even death."
He added: "The symptoms of flu usually develop over a matter of a few hours and include a high temperature, sore muscles, dry cough, headache and severe fatigue or tiredness. Flu is different from the common cold, which tends to come on more gradually and usually includes a runny nose and a normal temperature.
“Flu is spread by coughing and sneezing so people should cover their nose and mouth with a tissue, disposing of the tissue as soon as possible and wash their hands with soap and water as soon as possible to help prevent the spread of flu."