Senior doctors lead WDHB's flu vaccination result


6 September 2018

For the fourth year in a row, senior doctors are leading by example in the Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) push for staff to have flu vaccinations.

By early this week, senior doctors had achieved 94 percent - the highest coverage rate of five of the WDHB’s occupational groups and 12 percent up on their result last year. To date the results are:

  • senior doctors - 94 percent
  • junior doctors – 58 percent allied health - 65 percent
  • nurses – up 5 percent from last year to 74 percent
  • midwives – up 4 percent from last year to 72 percent
  • other - 58 percent.

WDHB Infection Prevention and Control clinical nurse specialist Jacqueline Pennefather says by Tuesday 4 September, overall coverage was 67 percent but she acknowledged that some staff do choose to receive their flu vaccinations from their GP and that number could be substantial.

Mrs Pennefather says some staff who qualify for a free flu vaccination administered by a GP have it done when seeing their GP for another matter. Those who qualify for free flu vaccinations include:

  • pregnant women (any trimester)
  • anyone under 65 who has a medical condition such as respiratory disease or heart disease
  • anyone aged 65 years or over.

Like many organisations and workplaces, the WDHB provides free flu vaccinations for all staff whose numbers taking up the offer continue to rise. Mrs Pennefather says it’s worth noting that flu vaccinations for all New Zealanders are available up to New Year’s Eve this year.

“I continue to encourage our staff and the Whanganui community to have their flu vaccination,” Mrs Pennefather says. 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.”

Meanwhile, results recorded by the Whanganui Regional Health Network (WRHN) are also encouraging. Manaaki Te Whanau Outreach Team clinical lead Sue Hina says information collated by general practice teams shows by mid this week, they had achieved 80 percent vaccination rate for GPs, practice nurses and admin staff.

And WRHN staff achieved 91 percent which Mrs Hina says is a great effort by staff to protect themselves and their patients.