More than 350 brave children rolled up their sleeves and got a jab on Australia Day to do their bit to keep the local community safe.
The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District held "Kids Vaccination Day" yesterday at the mass vaccination centre in Wollongong and at Shoalhaven Hospital in Nowra for children aged 5 to 11.
Balgownie's Sarah and Stuart Thompson took their boys Jack, 9, and Aidan, 6, to the centre yesterday after she had heard good feedback that the staff were wonderful and the process was quick and easy.
"There were no tears and they handled the needle well.
"We are big advocates for vaccinations. We want to do the right thing to keep everyone safe and well."
Staff donned brightly coloured scrubs and costumes to create a welcoming space for children to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.
"Needles and vaccinations can make the best of us squeamish, so we like to have a bit of fun with it for the kids," said Leanne, immunisation nurse at the mass vaccination centre.
"We have a special vaccination area for them, with child-friendly decorations on the walls, fidget toys, and bravery stickers to wear after they receive their vaccination.
"We want children and their parents to feel comfortable throughout the vaccination journey, so we try to make it fun by dressing up and playing games like paper, scissors, rock."
Mrs Thompson said there was a clown walking around making children laugh and smile, adding the nurses' costumes were great as some had fairy wings, tutus and bunny ears.
Last Friday, the district celebrated the milestone of having 1000 children aged 5-11 vaccinated in the first two weeks.
Meanwhile, four people from the region have died with COVID-19 while 1099 positive cases were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday.
These included a vaccinated man in his 60s and an unvaccinated woman aged in her 50s, both from Wollongong, along with two vaccinated women aged in their 80s from Shellharbour.
They were among 29 people who passed away with COVID-19 across the state.
Of the 1099 cases, 664 were positive PCR tests and 435 were recorded by rapid antigen tests.
The breakdown of the PCR tests included 324 cases from Wollongong, 167 cases from Shellharbour, 30 from Kiama and 143 cases from Shoalhaven.
Across the state there were 21,030 positive test results notified in the 24 hours to Tuesday night.
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