Only 3% of Hawaii’s youngest keiki have been vaccinated against COVID

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 12:28 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 14, 2022 at 12:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Only about 3% of Hawaii children ages 6 months to 4 years have gotten their first dose of the COVID vaccine, according to new state Health Department data.

The CDC green lit a vaccine protocol for the age group last month.

The age group has a population of 80,000 in Hawaii, meaning roughly 2,500 to 2,800 children have received their first dose. The Hawaii Health Department says that although children may face milder COVID symptoms than adults, keiki are more likely to be asymptomatic and can spread the virus to more vulnerable populations.

Children are also at risk of facing long and short-term health complications from COVID, according to the DOH.

Two vaccination options are available to the youngest kids, the DOH says.

The Pfizer vaccine is distributed in three-shots ― three weeks in between the first and second dose, and two months after the second dose for the third dose.

Every children’s Pfizer vaccine is one-tenth of the dose in adult Pfizer vaccines.

Moderna is the second option, administered in two shots. Children must wait four weeks after the first dose before receiving the second. Each dose is a quarter of the Moderna version given to adults.

As for other Hawaii keiki, 80% of children ages 12-17 have received their first dose. The number drops to 43% for five to 11-year-olds.

Some 78.8% of Hawaii’s population is fully vaccinated, higher than the national rate of 67.5%.

The data comes as masks inside Hawaii public schools have been made optional for the upcoming school year, as the nation continues to face high COVID infection rates but low hospitalizations and death.

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