The Government has launched its 'Be Winter Ready' campaign, with the focus of this year's campaign on health preparedness for older people, including promoting flu vaccinations.

Minister for Health Simon Harris appealed for people to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, as it takes two weeks for it to provide protection from flu.

He also urged everyone to call on their older or infirm neighbours, especially if the weather becomes bad.

Minister for State Paul Kehoe, Chairperson of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, said the message to the public is to be prepared for winter weather, stay safe, know where to get help and help others if you can.

The campaign was launched at the National Emergency Coordination Centre in the Department of Agriculture.