Children share why they got the coronavirus vaccine in Hawaii


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted to recommend expanding the use of Pfizer’s vaccine to children as young as 12 on Wednesday, May 12.

This just two days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light.

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Some counties have already started vaccinating adolescents, saying the FDA’s stamp of approval was enough to go forward. On Oahu, more than 70 parents signed their kids up to get vaccinated at the Blaisdell.

Everett Pham, 12, came with his dad to get his COVID-19 vaccine at the Blaisdell Center.

“I decided to get the vaccine because I want to be able to travel and see family, and I also want to protect my classmates and the people I work with in school,” said Everett.

Health officials say there are roughly 55,000 12- to 15-year-olds in Hawaii. Everett says he did not know he was eligible until his dad brought it up.

“It was a quick conversation. It was, ‘Everett do you want to get a vaccine?’ And he said yes,” said his father, Dr. Julius Pham, who is a physician for the Queen’s Health Systems.

“That was basically it,” said Everett. “I feel like this past year it just feels like everything is changed and nothing is backed to normal, and getting this shot makes me feel a bit back to normal more than it has.”

Rylin Hayes, 13, also got the shot.

“My arm’s a little sore but that is to be expected. I’m excited, happy,” said Rylin.

“He has asthma so we worry about him having it settle in the lungs, and we are traveling over the summer,” said his mother Jennifer Hayes.

Hawaii Pacific Health’s mobile vaccination center or “Vax Squad Bus” travels to Oahu high schools and is accepting children 12 and up. The bus was made available for Pearl City High School and the public on Wednesday.

“I’m really happy that we are able to do our part to help first of all our students and get ourselves back to school next year in-person,” said Pearl City High School principal Joseph Halfmann.

They could also walk in at the mass vaccination site at Pier 2. Kaiser Permanente will be accepting appointments for folks 12 and up starting Thursday, May 13.

Adolescents ages 12 and older will soon be able to schedule an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine through CVS Health/Longs Pharmacy.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for age groups 12-15 on Monday, May 10, allowing the pool of vaccine eligibility to expand nationwide.

Starting Thursday, participating CVS Pharmacy locations in Hawaii will begin administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to individuals ages 12 and older.

“With every new wave of eligibility our teams have worked around the clock to ensure vaccine access as soon as possible,” said Karen Lynch, President and Chief Executive officer, CVS Health. “Offering vaccinations to younger populations at thousands of locations across the country brings us one step closer to prevailing over the pandemic.”

Parental or legal guardian consent is required and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Those interested in receiving the vaccine are encouraged to schedule an appointment online or through the CVS Pharmacy app to ensure availability. Walk-ins will also be accepted.

The scheduling tool will only display appointments at CVS Pharmacy locations that have the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine once the patient’s age is provided.

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