Bay of Plenty parents have not wasted any time getting their children vaccinated with nearly 700 jabs delivered to those aged five to 11 as they became eligible yesterday.
One parent said a Tauranga central clinic was "very busy," taking 90 minutes to get her three children vaccinated.
The child vaccine was now available at centres throughout New Zealand, including walk-ins, drive-throughs, hauora providers, community pharmacies and general practices.
It comes as a MIQ worker at the Stamford Plaza in Auckland tested positive for Omicron on Friday. Of the 67 close contacts linked, 43 had already returned negative test results.
No new Covid-19 cases were reported in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board region yesterday.
Jade McKean went with her three children, Erin, 9, Alice, 7, and Luke, 5, to get their first doses at the Covid vaccination centre on First Ave in Tauranga yesterday.
McKean said the centre was "very busy" and a lot of people went early to get vaccinated.
She wanted her children to get vaccinated as soon as they were eligible because they were going back to school soon.
It was also important for everyone to get vaccinated so that her children and the community had "more chance against it [Covid]".
"It's especially important to me because my boy's got asthma and my girl is diabetic. Doing this today gives us a bit of confidence for our family and for others."
Despite the wait, her children were kept entertained at the clinic.
"They were very good in the booths - they had colouring packs. So once you got to the booths the tension was released with those colouring packs and they were happy. The nurses were awesome, the kids got ice blocks."
When asked if she was concerned that her children could not get vaccinated until now despite there being cases in the Bay of Plenty already, McKean said: "No ... because I think it's something that's going to come eventually so this just is a way for us to prepare for it when it does come.
"We haven't been avoiding certain places. We've been careful but we're still going out and living our lives."
McKean said the vaccination "didn't sting" and felt like "a soft pinch with the finger".
Jacqui Shippey went with her children, Jayda, 10, and Tyler, 7, to get vaccinated yesterday.
Shippey was due for her booster shot and thought it would be a good time to take her children to get their first dose.
"We just wanted to do our part to help protect the ones that can't do it."
Shippey said: "Tyler said it felt like a bee sting so he made me more worried."
"And she cried," Tyler said.
Ten-year-old Lochlan Moore also got vaccinated, which he said was "great", even though it hurt "a little bit".
Bay of Plenty District Health Board Covid-19 senior responsible officer Brent Gilbert-De Rios said nearly 700 tamariki aged 5- to 11-years-old through DHB's region received their first Covid-19 vaccination on Monday.
"Immunisation is an important way to keep our tamariki safe. The vaccine also reduces the spread of the virus within whānau and our community. We're looking forward to continuing this important work."
He said there were more than 20 clinics offering the paediatric dose in the region, and these were listed on the Healthpoint website and Covid19.govt.nz.
Epidemiologist Michael Baker said he was "relieved" that child vaccines had started yesterday.
"Overseas, we're seeing quite a few children getting admitted to hospital ... partly because they're now, particularly in New Zealand, the least immune group."
Nationally, 93 per cent of the eligible population that were 12 or older were double-vaccinated, Ministry of Health data showed.
"Children are really going to experience the highest levels of infection of Omicron if it starts circulating and they have the least protection," Baker added.
Parents were advised to check the Book My Vaccine website or call the Covid-19 Vaccination Healthline on 0800 282926 to find a walk-in or drive-through near them or to make an appointment. Many general practices are offering child vaccinations for their enrolled patients so contact your local doctor to find out more.