THIRTEEN people died of flu-related illnesses last winter, according to official figures.
The laboratory-confirmed deaths give an indication of how severe the season is.
The flu vaccine cuts the risk of death from the virus in half for elderly patients, say pharmacists.
From today, pharmacists across the country will begin delivering this year's flu vaccination service to patients.
The service is available free of charge from pharmacists to those in an at-risk group who hold a medical card.
These include groups such as elderly people, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses.