Coronavirus vaccine soon available for those under 16 as Hawaii DOE offers shots at schools

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to green-light the COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 15 years old as early as the week of Monday, May 10.

That as Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) kicks off efforts to vaccinate more students on school campuses on Thursday, May 6.

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Lt. Gov. Josh Green says there are more than 310,000 kids under the age of 18 and 55,000 between the age of 12 and 15 that could bring Hawaii closer herd immunity if vaccinated.

“They found (the vaccine) to be very protective,” Green said. “They haven’t found any catastrophic side effects so I’m glad to hear that because 12- to 15-year-olds have very dynamic social lives and they’re around a lot of friends so it can be spread.”

He says his 14-year-old will be getting the shot.

“Search your hearts, decide what’s best for you and your children and make a decision but for the purposes of this vaccine,” Green said. “I think it looks safe and my family’s already discussed it and Maya will get vaccinated.”

It will require parental approval, like any other vaccination. Green says it should be easy to get.

A DOE spokesperson says they are discussing ways to include those 12 to 15 in their school vaccination efforts once it is approved. They are partnering with Hawaii Pacific Health to vaccinate students 16 and older, along with their families, starting Thursday at Waipahu High School.

In a statement DOE said:
“The expansion of vaccine eligibility for youth is a very positive step forward. Every vaccinated student will help to protect the overall health of their school community, friends and families.
As the Department continues to plan for next school year, the ultimate goal is to safely resume daily in-person learning and activities for as many students as possible.Part of our effort to keep reducing the impact of COVID in schools involves expanding the number of fully vaccinated individuals on campuses beyond employees to include eligible students. The DOE is working with the Department of Health and health care providers to deploy school-based vaccination clinics in the coming weeks. Based on current enrollment the population of 16 and older students in public schools is about 32,300.”

Waipahu High School principal Keith Hayashi said students, their family members and others in the community are welcome to register for the shot.

“We do want to open come the fall,” Hayashi explained. “And in addition to practicing our detailed mitigation strategies, it’s really important that our students are vaccinated.”

The mobile vaccination unit will run from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Waipahu High School on Thursday and will return in three weeks to administer the second dose.

An HPH spokesperson says they are hoping to administer 300 shots and can accommodate up to 400 people.

Click here to register for Pfizer vaccine at the Waipahu High School location.

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