HONOLULU (KHON2) — Now that COVID vaccines for kids aged five to 11 are available, the governor’s office said the focus is on getting them vaccinated. Then, proof of vaccination for this age bracket will follow, but there is no timeline or plan on when that will happen.
“I expect half of our keiki between five to 11 will get vaccinated and about half in that category, I believe,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green, Hawaii state COVID-19 liaison.
All counties, except for Oahu, do not have plans to require proof of vaccination against the coronavirus for kids 11 and younger. The office of Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said discussions are underway but nothing has been finalized yet.
The University of Hawaii will allow young fans back in the stands, but they must be fully vaccinated and use the Lumisight UH app to enter the sporting event.
With cases and hospitalizations trending down, how long will vaccine mandates be around?
“We’re still in a pandemic state, even though it’s a much lower state of pandemic than what we’ve been in so I anticipate that these restrictions will be in place for some time to come,” said Hilton Raethel, CEO of Healthcare Association of Hawaii.
Changes for managed events on Oahu will expire on Christmas day and will be reevaluated from there. With the governor’s latest executive order open to the counties, Kauai will not participate.
“I do not agree that we should be requiring a vaccine mandate or testing requirement,” said Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami. “If businesses want to go that route, we’re here to support them and help them build a system where that can happen.”
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Health officials will continue to monitor infection rates, but hospitalizations are the main metric.
“If we can get to below 50 COVID hospitalizations a day for a few days — a couple of weeks — that would be very, very good to that to get to that point,” Raethel added.