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Hawaii public schools kick off COVID vaccine clinics for younger kids

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 10:48 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Education Department kicked off its first school-based vaccination clinic for younger keiki Monday, administering vaccines to dozens of kids at Kalihi Uka Elementary.

About 60 students in all, or a quarter of the eligible children at the school, were signed up for the clinic.

According to the Department of Health, 160 schools have expressed interest in holding clinics. The shots are also available at doctor’s offices, pharmacies and larger vaccination sites.

“We hope to do the majority (of schools) next three weeks,” said Brooke Baehr, spokesperson for the Department of Health. “Because we’d really like to get the kids fully vaccinated before the Christmas holiday comes around.”

Parents need to consent for their children to be vaccinated, and it is up to individual schools on whether or not parents will be allowed to accompany their child.

At Kalihi Uka Elementary, because of the small vaccination area and the manpower it would take to check parents’ vaccination status, the school decided to not allow parents to visit the clinic.

“There are several parents who asked if they were allowed on campus,” said Principal Derek Santos.

“We did have to let them know that we couldn’t. So some parents have decided that they’ll be taking their children to another vaccination clinic.”

A second vaccination clinic will be held at the school for the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Parent Elizabeth Lugo was excited to have her keiki vaccinated.

“Like every family, we all have our elderly parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles,” said Lugo. “Getting vaccinated and having my children vaccinated gave us that extra protection.”

“When I get sick, I will be protected from the virus.” added Elizebeth’s daughter, Milena Lugo.

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