FLU JABS are more important than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic expected to burden Tamworth Hospital.
COVID-19 cases have remained stable at a dozen since March 30, a statistic that has confounded Hunter New England Health rural and regional executive director Susan Heyman.
"We are well-prepared and we have only seen 12 cases in Tamworth," she said.
"I'm proud of the way the community has handled and abide by restrictions.
"Really we thought the numbers would be much higher, but we are proud they are not."
Last year was Hunter New England Health's worst flu season on record, with 7150 confirmed cases across the district.
With just 12 ICU beds in Tamworth Hospital in March, the staff have strengthened capacity and mapped ventilators in the region.
As the hospital prepares to take on more COVID-19 patients in the winter season, social distance measures are hoped to also slow the spread of flu.
Restrictions are in place for hospital and Multi-Purpose Service visitors.
It's hoped that will stop further spread of flu and free up ventilators for COVID-19 patients, Ms Heyman said.
"The flu can require ventilation for people who are particularly sick because it does have an impact on respiratory systems," she said.
"We have an increase in respiratory beds, some are ventilated and some are not depending on how sick the patient is and the staff available for that increase in beds."
There is a staged-approach to deal with a surge of flu patients, based on numbers last year.
If the situation worsens, Ms Heyman said Ramsay Health Care private hospitals were prepared to take on patients.
"If things were to surge through winter then certainly we are well-placed to follow through on negotiations," she said.
"With the restrictions in place in the community at the moment and encouraging vaccinations we will hopefully see much less of an impact."
Tamworth Hospital is one of two main ICU providers in the district.