Around 43,000 Hawke's Bay residents lifted their sleeves and squeezed their eyes shut as they prepared for the stinging sensation of the flu vaccine.
The vaccine arrived in the country slightly later this year as the World Health Organisation included immunisation against the deadly strain H3N2, otherwise known as Flu Strain A.
Three times more people died in the UK compared to last year, along with the US experiencing its worst flu season for a number of years.
The Hawke's Bay DHB are encouraging people to get their vaccines before the official winter season, although it will be available until the end of the year.
Hawke's Bay Immunisation co-ordinator Fiona Jackson said there was a great amount of participation for the flu vaccine this year.
"We've got 24 pharmacies in Hawke's Bay giving these vaccines to pregnant women, because it's free for them as well as 65s and over.
"These vaccines can be done through a pharmacy and we also have occupational health nurses that go in and around schools and workplaces, so we have a good number of health providers that give vaccines around the region. People can also get it done through their GPs and practice nurses if they have more questions, she said."
Fraser said it was too early to tell how many vaccines had been given in the region this year, as the procedure was still ongoing.
Despite participation increasing year on year, there are still those who remain skeptical over the vaccine, many saying they had fallen ill afterwards and wouldn't get it again.
Fraser was adamant that the vaccine couldn't give a person the flu.
"The flu vaccine can't give you the flu, it's scientifically impossible, it's not a live vaccine. It's designed just to wake your immune system up, you've got the protection on board so you don't get sick with the virus.
"Unfortunately we give it at the time of the year where there are bugs about, so it only protects against flu, it doesn't protect against other respiratory diseases like coughs or colds, bacterias or anything like that.
"After a vaccination we do expect some people to get an 'expected' reaction; you might be a little bit sore or a have slight headache for a day or so."
Along with getting the vaccine, Jackson said it was still important to take other precautionary measures during the winter months.
"The flu jab is a really good health precaution to take, but we're also encouraging people to be sensible. Eat really well, stay warm and cosy, take vitamins, wash your hands, it's all common sense."
Hawke's Bay Hospital Emergency Department head Mark Barlow said traffic flow through ED always increased during the winter months, but he was pleased so many people were taking the time to get their flu jabs.
"It's good that vaccinations are being done out in the local community and some of the community pharmacies are offering vaccinations to persons over 65 and to pregnant women as well," he said.
"We recommend that people who are getting flu or are at high risk of getting flu should have the vaccine."