Some of the region's youngest residents turned out in force on Friday to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and play their part to return to normal life.
The line was out the door and around the corner at the Warrnambool vaccination centre as South West Healthcare prioritised more than 400 Year 11 and 12 students ahead of final exams.
For regional teenagers, their final years of schooling have been anything but normal.
They have endured three lockdowns this year and spent most of last year learning from their screens at home.
Year 12 Brauer College student Kayla Neave was thrilled to receive her first dose of Pfizer on Friday morning.
"I got vaccinated so we can get more freedoms and be able to actually sit our exams and get back to as normal as possible," she said.
"I've hated this year, I just wanted to be back at school and was hoping getting the vaccine would make it easier to get back to school and get that necessary revision in before exams."
The possibility of getting to experience some semblance of a normal final year like a valedictory dinner and exams is giving the 17-year-old a much-needed glimmer of hope.
"It's making me really excited because at first I didn't think we were going to get any of it so it's a good feeling," she said.
"I'm hoping a lot of people do come forward and get their vaccines just so we can get back to as normal as possible."
I'm hoping a lot of people do come forward and get their vaccines so we can get back to as normal as possible.
15-year-old Warrnambool College siblings Milla and Dominic Darmanin got their first Pfizer dose together.
They wanted to protect their little brother, who is immunocompromised.
"When things to start to open up I think it will make it easier for us to move around," Milla said.
"The sooner we can vaccinated the sooner we can get back to normal."
Brauer College Year 11 student Yann Fiedler hopes to enjoy a normal final year of schooling next year.
"I think everybody should get vaccinated to protect the community," he said.
"Although you have a lot of freedoms studying at home I think studying in the classroom with your friends and more interactions with the teacher just makes it easier."
Hawkesdale P-12 School students took up the opportunity to get their vaccine at school.
Year 10 student Leigh Edwards felt a lot more comfortable getting vaccinated at school with his peers.
"I love my sports and not being able to play sport or come to school are the reason I decided to get the jab," he said.
"My mum, dad and brother have been vaccinated and my sisters are booked in."
Leigh plays cricket for Hawkesdale and football for Hawkesdale-Macarthur and with finals just around the corner he couldn't wait to get vaccinated.
"We're second on the ladder at the minute and it's been quite challenging to go into finals at the moment," he said.
"The possibility we might not be able to play finals really gets to me."
Assistant principal John Ralph said parents were very supportive of the program.
"Students were really happy yo get it done in familiar surroundings and in their community," Mr Ralph said.
"I think everyone's recognising vaccines are the way of getting things back to a COVID normal state."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
- Bookmark https://www.standard.net.au/
- Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines and newsletters.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Tap here to open our Google News page.
- Join our Courts and Crime Facebook group and our dedicated Sport Facebook group