There has been a booking frenzy among Victorian year 12 students and teachers ahead of a priority COVID-19 vaccination blitz.
Victoria wants to get all year 12 students vaccinated with at least one dose before their final exams through a 10-day priority access scheme beginning on Tuesday.
Pfizer bookings opened for year 12 students, teachers, exam supervisors and assessors on Monday, with a dedicated hotline fielding 30,000 calls across the morning.
Health Minister Martin Foley said the system had been “hammered” because of the “wild enthusiasm” of the cohort of about 50,000 students and 10,000 supervisors.
“I understand things have eased up and I would encourage people to continue to try,” he told reporters.
COVID commander Jeroen Weimar urged the group to remain patient, reminding year 11 students studying 3/4 VCE subjects that they need to wait until Wednesday to book.
“Can I just assure every VCE student, I’ve got one at home myself, there’s a dose set aside for you,” COVID commander Jeroen Weimar told reporters.
“There’s no frantic rush.”
Charlotte Sherlock, a year 12 student at Brunswick Secondary College, rolled up her sleeve on Monday at the newly relocated Melbourne Museum vaccination site to promote the blitz.
The 17-year-old, who has missed more than 100 days of face-to-face learning, said it was a relief to get the vaccine.
“I’ve finally got it now and I don’t have to worry about it having to make phone calls and wait in lines,” she told AAP.
“I feel like I’m part of the community and I’m making progress to have higher vaccine rates, and maybe get more freedoms.”
Ms Sherlock said she was keen to get back to school, with Premier Daniel Andrews set to outline a plan this week for Melbourne schools to reopen in term four.
“I have missed it for my performance subjects like drama,” she said.
“It would be good to have exam revision with teachers and be able to go back and forth and not have a weird (Microsoft) Teams meeting.”
She and her friends are all “on the same page” and want to be vaccinated, but she encouraged some hesitant classmates to follow suit.
“Get vaxxed and maybe we can all come out of this sooner rather than later,” Ms Sherlock said.