The Whanganui DHB has told the Ministry of Health almost a quarter of its workforce has yet to receive a single dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
But the DHB says its figures don't paint a full picture and there could be more staff who are vaccinated and are yet to share their status with their employer.
According to the figures collected in early September, a total of at least 77.5 per cent of the DHB's clinical and non-clinical workforce had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
A total of 76.2 per cent of Whanganui DHB staff members had been fully vaccinated.
The Ministry of Health has only just released the data.
The DHB blamed privacy concerns for the information not being collected despite 11 other DHBs having already collected information from their own workforce.
In late August, the Ministry of Health confirmed that it had given Whanganui DHB until August 31 to collect that information from its staff.
By that point, the DHB had initiated a process to collect the information from their staff on a voluntary basis.
The DHB confirmed on September 6 information had been compiled and passed on to the ministry.
But it said not all staff had completed the survey at the release of last week's data, and it did not say how many staff had been surveyed.
"Like other employers, DHBs are required to seek consent from staff to record their vaccination status.
"Some DHBs began this process later than others, so their figures may be a little lower than others," a spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that vaccinations were a core part of protecting both staff and the community from the virus.
"Whanganui DHB has notified staff of vaccination clinics at Whanganui Hospital, and has encouraged all staff to get vaccinated via internal messaging."
Mandatory vaccination a "disservice" to uptake
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has signalled the Government is actively considering the idea of introducing mandatory vaccinations for frontline health staff.
But locally, that idea isn't supported by all DHB members.
Elected DHB member Josh Chandulal-McKay said the idea of mandatory vaccinations didn't sit comfortably with him.
"I think mandatory vaccinations do a disservice in encouraging uptake. I think it causes hesitancy about why mandatory vaccines would be required.
"I think the best way to do it is through education and making a really strong case around the health benefits for it."
Chandulal-McKay confirmed the DHB had not yet considered the possibility of mandatory vaccinations at a board level.
DHB member Philippa Baker-Hogan said she was concerned about the figures as they stood, and encouraged those staff who have yet to be vaccinated to come forward.
"I am somewhat surprised and concerned that close to a quarter of our essential health workers haven't had their first vaccination."
Baker-Hogan said vaccinations were a key aspect of protecting the community against Covid-19, and that health staff getting their jab was a valuable image for those in the wider community.
"I hear the call of our chief executive to strongly encourage WDHB staff to book vaccines - we need to practise what we preach to our communities. I urge our essential health workforce to lead by example."