Public Health England (PHE) are urging people to take the flu vaccine before the peak hits in January.
Those who are over 65, children and adults who have underlying medical conditions and women who are pregnant, are being urged to get their free vaccines over the next few weeks.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: “The flu vaccine is the best defence we have against what can be a serious and fatal illness, and flu season is just around the corner.
“If you are in an eligible group, visit your GP or pharmacist as soon possible to ensure you are protected.”
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England national medical director said, “Flu can be extremely serious and even kill in some cases, and getting vaccinated is the best protection against it.
“NHS services across England continue to work hard to prepare for the winter season, including staff getting their free flu jab, and now we’re appealing to the public to ‘Help Us, Help You’ by ensuring that they and their eligible children or relatives get vaccinated, now.”
Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs said, “Influenza can be a very unpleasant illness, and while it is not generally a serious illness for most people, for those in at-risk groups, such as young children, elderly people, those with long-term conditions and pregnant women, flu has the potential to trigger life-threatening complications.
“The best defence against the flu is to be vaccinated and we strongly urge all patients in at-risk groups to get vaccinated and for parents to ensure their young children receive their vaccine as soon as possible.”