Whanganui District Health is urging people to get vaccinated against the flu.

WDHB's infection prevention and control clinical nurse specialist Jacqueline Pennefather said the flu doesn't disappear in spring.

"As we've seen this year, many people have had the flu and some have been very unwell. I would urge people to do everything they can to avoid it."

The flu vaccine was available until New Year's Eve, Mrs Pennefather said.


Some people qualify for a free flu vaccination, including pregnant women, anyone aged over 65, or anyone with a chronic condition such as respiratory or heart disease. Children living in an earthquake-affected area (such as Christchurch or Kaikoura) also qualify.

Meanwhile, doctors are leading by example in the WDHB's push to have its own staff vaccinated against the flu.

For the third year in a row, doctors have achieved the highest coverage rate of the WDHB's five occupational groups, with 82 per cent of doctors having received the vaccination.

Sixty-nine per cent of nurses are vaccinated, just ahead of midwives on 68 per cent, and other staff on 57 per cent.