The phones at medical centres across the Port Macquarie-Hastings have been ringing off the hook with parents keen to book their 12 to 15-year-olds in to receive a COVID vaccine.
Lighthouse Medical Centre, Lake Innes Medical Centre and Lakewood's Your Family Practice were amongst those which opened locally for Pfizer vaccine bookings for the age group from September 13, in line with other practices across the country.
To assist additional demand, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the federal government had also secured one million Moderna doses from member countries of the European Union.
Lighthouse Medical Centre office manager Maryrose Burgess said there has been high demand for the vaccines, with hundreds booking in and there is now a waiting list.
Lakewood's Your Family Practice manager Deidre McInherney-Nash said the centre has already vaccinated about 10 children in the 12 to 15-year-old age group and there have been many enquiries.
St Columba Anglican School principal Terry Muldoon said the school is backing the vaccine rollout to children.
Mr Muldoon said work health and safety (WHS) and duty of care were important to uphold.
"We believe the vaccines provide protection so that's why we're happy to promote it," he said.
The school has organised voluntary vaccination for children from year 7 to year 12.
"I believe there has been a major surge (of bookings) for the younger years at the Lake Innes Medical Centre," Mr Muldoon said.
School staff have also been enthusiastic to receive the jab, with 79 per cent of the cohort fully vaccinated against the virus.
Another 15 per cent have received their first dose.
Mr Muldoon is confident the majority of the year 12 students will be fully vaccinated in time to sit their final school exams.
A Port Macquarie parent has booked her 13-year-old and 15-year-old in to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The 15-year-old has chronic asthma and catching COVID isn't a risk she is willing to take.
The children are looking forward to being back in the community and seeing their friends, while having peace of mind they are protected.
For more information in relation to bookings please visit the NSW Government website.
People can book a vaccination appointment at their nearest NSW Health vaccination site, GP or pharmacy.
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