HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has ordered all NHS staff to get the flu jab as it emerged two in five have yet to do so.
The virus has killed 23 people so far this winter.
And 2,092 in England have needed treatment for the virus this year.
That is eight times higher than the 256 hospital admissions by this time last year.
Mr Hancock said: “This is an essential measure to ensure patients and staff are protected.
“It is wrong for any frontline NHS staff not to be vaccinated against flu without a good medical reason. I am determined to reach universal uptake for NHS workers next year.”
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Most sufferers recover within weeks but the elderly or children can become severely ill and die.
Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, head of flu at Public Health England, said: “Flu season has now started so it is really important that people get their flu vaccine as soon as possible to ensure they are protected against this potentially very serious illness.
“The initial evidence suggests the vaccine is a good match for the main strain of flu that is circulating.”