HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities received their first dose of the COVID vaccine on Saturday.
Physicians and medical staff from Kaiser Permanente worked with Special Olympics Hawaii to administer shots at Consolidated Theatres Kapolei.
More than 250 people showed up to get their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
Many athletes and coaches decided to come out to the event because they felt it was important to do their part.
“I think it’s important to get this because if you don’t, you cannot go out, but if you do have one vaccination you still got to keep your distance and wear a mask,” said Cassilly Woll, a Special Olympics athlete.
Kaiser Permanente hosted this vaccination clinic to inoculate community members who are at high risk of severe illness from the virus.
“One of the challenges that individuals with intellectual disabilities have is social isolation, so you can imagine the effect that COVID has had on this community,” said Daniel Epstein, president and CEO of Special Olympics Hawaii.
“So the fact that they can get back out, be physically fit, see their friends, get back and get out and do sports is magical, and we just can’t wait for that opportunity to happen.”
Special Olympics athletes and coaches will come back in about a month to get their second dose.
Kaiser Permanente has so far, administered more than 70,000 shots statewide.
The healthcare provider is accepting appointments for members and non-members.
To register for a vaccine appointment, click here.