An alarming jump in confirmed influenza cases across the country has sparked an urgent "get vaccinated" warning, aimed especially at the over 65s.

The number of people struck down by the potentially deadly disease has risen 25 per cent since last year.

And doctors fear the worst is still to come.

Queenslanders are faring the worst, with 47 per cent of all influenza cases across Australia.

The figures have prompted a push from both doctors and politicians for more people are vaccinated.

The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System records show during the period of January 1 to July 18, this year there were 1237 cases of laboratory confirmed influenza.

The figure has jumped dramatically compared with the period between January 1 and June 30, 2007, when there were 912 notified cases.

Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot today urged the 2.7 million Australians over 65 to protect themselves from the illness with an annual free influenza shot.

"As the 'flu season generally lasts until late August or September, many people can still be protected by having the vaccine now," Mrs Elliot said.

Australian Medical Association Queensland president and geriatrician Dr Chris Davis urged people over 65 to get vaccinated, warning the worse was still to come.

"Late August and September is where we see a lot of cases," Dr Davis said.

"All the evidence suggests that once people are over 65 there is a greater risk of health complications resulting from influenza.

"Immune systems get less effective as we age, so it's very important to take the opportunity to get vaccinated now."

Over the past five years, influenza and pneumonia were responsible for 2.5 per cent of all deaths in Australia and in 2006, resulted in 2725 deaths.

The illness is the 12th highest cause of death for Australians.