Dubbo parents are locking in COVID-19 vaccination appointments for their children aged five to 11 years old, as the program extends to more of the population.
The younger cohort became eligible for the first injections on Monday as confirmed cases in the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) reached 4200 for the past seven days.
More than 95 per cent of people aged 15 and over in the Dubbo Regional Council area are fully vaccinated.
The federal government is distributing the Pfizer vials across the country, encouraging parents to bring their children forward to both protect them and to help protect the community from the virus.
Three million doses are being distributed ahead of the school year's start to enable the 2.3 million children now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID to get their first shot, health minister Greg Hunt reports.
One of those eligible is Dubbo student and seven-year-old Edward Cox.
His mother, Katie Cox, has made an appointment for him to receive the vaccination later this month.
She said she had booked her son with the family's general practitioner, which was where she had been vaccinated, and found it to be a fairly straightforward process.
Mrs Cox sees the benefits of having her eldest child and others in the same age group vaccinated.
I'm glad they will have had a chance to get a vaccination before heading back to school.Dubbo mum Katie Cox
"I'm glad they will have had a chance to get a vaccination before heading back to school," she said.
"It will provide some protection as well as ease the isolation requirements.
"Last time COVID hit the school, vaccinated children only had seven days' isolation, whereas unvaccinated had 14 days."
WNSWLHD has announced details for its "small but pivotal role" in the roll-out of the next phase of the vaccination program.
Its vaccination hub at Dubbo opens to five- to 11-year-olds from Thursday.
It is all happening at the Chelsea Heights Medical Centre this morning!— Greg Hunt (@GregHuntMP) January 10, 2022
A big thank you to staff across the country today who are administering jabs and to families for bringing their children forward to get vaccinated.
A WNSWLHD spokesperson says the NSW Health vaccination sites throughout the state complement the privately-owned and run GP network and community pharmacies, which have and will continue to deliver the majority of COVID-19 vaccines across NSW, including 5 to 11 year olds, supplied by the federal government.
"WNSWLHD vaccination hubs in Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst are ready to begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged five to 11 on Thursday January 13 as planned, alongside the continued adult vaccination and booster program," the spokesperson said.
"WNSWLHD has adequate supply of vaccine to carry out appointments available for children aged five to 11 at both vaccination hubs and planned pop-up clinics in various communities across the district.
"We encourage parents and carers to book an appointment as soon as possible at a NSW Health vaccination clinic and at participating GPs and pharmacies, by visiting the federal government's COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder."