There were a couple of tears and a few nerves, but Antony Ainio was happy to roll up his sleeve and get his COVID-19 vaccination on the first day of the rollout for children aged five to 11.
Dad Richard took Antony to his appointment at the UFS Vaccine Clinic in the early afternoon, saying they had been in such a rush to get there Antony had not had much time to feel anxious.
"He's been keen to get it because his big brother got it and it means he can travel," Mr Ainio said.
With his early years of schooling disrupted by the virus, Mr Ainio said Antony was very aware of COVID-19 and its impact on the community - another reason to get vaccinated.
"He's definitely aware of what the virus is. They were studying single cell organisms and microbes at school so he had some awareness on that level too." While none of Antony's family have had COVID, two friends had contracted the virus interstate.
UFS vaccination clinic acting manager Trish Libbis said appointments for childrens' vaccinations were booked out until February but they hoped to open more bookings shortly when they secure more supply.
"I'm really quite surprised how well behaved these kids are. They've been amazing - a little bit anxious but they've got through it no problems. I've not had one call to help give a hand or distract the younger kids."
"They know they are having a needle so they don't get sick."
The clinic has only been allocated 200 of the pediatric Pfizer doses per week so are trying to get what they can from other sources who are able to order in stock.
WHERE YOU CAN GET A COVID VACCINE
"We will do 40 children (on Monday), an extra 10 than we would normally do because a lot of parents booked online and didn't realise they were booking an adult appointment. We're fitting in as many as we can."
Parents of children receiving the jab are also being offered boosters if eligible.
Tracey Ginn's 11-year-old daughter Heidi was among the first to be vaccinated at the Ballarat Health Service's Community Vaccination Clinic at the Mercure, which has been redecorated with a forest theme and distractions for nervous children.
"She was nervous but been wanting to get it done for a long time. Even though she was nervous she feels it's the right thing to do," Ms Ginn said.
"We have immuno-compromised people in our outer family and she knows how important it is."
Ms Ginn said the vaccination experience on Monday had been fantastic
"They were super friendly and being older child too they made sure they spoke a lot to her rather than me."
In a statement, BHS said the Community Vaccination Clinic had seen very strong demand for paediatric COVID-19 vaccinations, and was fully booked out this week.
IN OTHER NEWS
Paediatric vaccinations are by appointment only, and there is availability in the weeks commencing January 17 and 24.
"As announced on Friday, there are no walk-in vaccines available at the Community Vaccination Clinic, to accommodate boosters for parents attending with their children. We have had great uptake of this and thank the general community for their understanding," they said.
"We have seen strong uptake of booster vaccines as members of our community become eligible for them."
Posters of native animals adorn the walls and children can put their name sticker, shaped like a leaf, on a tree on the wall once they have had their vaccination.
Bookings can be made via https://portal.cvms.vic.gov.au/
Our team of local journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the Ballarat community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.