HONOLULU (KHON2) — Summer break is a few weeks away for many colleges and universities and that means more students are going to be out and about and traveling.
Several University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa students say that was their reason to get the shot on Friday, April 30, but a bigger decision for some was the possibility of resuming in-class learning.
UH Manoa had an open vaccine clinic on Friday for 200 students and every appointment was filled.
Residents 16 and older have been eligible for the vaccine for one month, but health officials noticed appointments going unfilled.
Many students say it was difficult to get to City-run points of distribution or pharmacies.
“I was going to sign up for one of those but it’s far and I don’t have a car,” explained UH Manoa junior Chiara Stiger. “I take the bus and UH came out with a message on Friday that we’re going to do this, and I figured it’s way easier, it’s way more convenient I’m already here.”
KHON2 asked students why younger people might be hesitant to get vaccinated.
“We were always told on the news that we’re the lowest risk age group and if we do get sick it’s not going to be severe, we’re not going to be hospitalized, and so that took a lot of the urgency out of it,” Stiger added.
“I don’t think they don’t want to get vaccinated, I think they’re just uncertain about what it will do to your body,” said UH Manoa junior Anesha Blakrishnan.
“I was kind of iffy about [getting the vaccine], but I noticed other schools were saying you should be vaccinated if you want to do in-person classes so I figured I might as well especially with travel I want to go back home,” said UH Manoa student Alexandra Gutierrez.
Some mainland universities are requiring students to get vaccinated before the fall semester. It is something that UH has been discussing but is nowhere near finalizing.
“I’m sure after summer, kids aren’t going to be as responsible,” said Stiger. “I’m sure kids are going to go wild and having it mandated will help keep it a lot safer.”
UH says it hopes to move to more in-person classes in the fall of 2021.
Chaminade University says it will not require students to be vaccinated, but students who provide proof of vaccination before Tuesday, Aug. 31, will be entered to win $500 in cash prizes.