Senior doctors at the Whanganui District Health Board have the highest rate of themselves being vaccinated for the fourth year in a row.

The DHB offers free flu vaccinations to all its staff and each year the participation rate rises.

Almost all senior doctors have been vaccinated this year with 94 per cent, followed by nurses with 74 per cent participation. Midwives (72 per cent) and junior doctors (65 per cent) follow.

Senior doctors were up 12 per cent on last year's participation.


DHB spokesperson Jacqueline Pennefather said across the board 67 per cent of staff had taken up the offer of vaccination. She said many choose to get vaccinated at their GP so it was likely many more staff than 67 per cent were vaccinated.

"I continue to encourage our staff and the Whanganui community to have their flu vaccination," Pennefather said.

"The flu virus doesn't suddenly disappear when spring, or even summer, arrives.

"As is the case most years, those getting the flu can become very unwell. Our DHB encourages Whanganui District residents to do all they can to avoid it."

Pennefather said flu vaccinations for all New Zealanders were available up to New Year's Eve this year.

Flu vaccines are free for pregnant women, anyone under 65 with a respiratory disease or heart disease and anyone aged over 65.

Staff at practices away from the hospital had an 80 percent vaccination rate, while workers at the Whanganui Regional Health Network achieved 91 per cent coverage.