COVID-19 vaccinations start at some Hawaii public schools

HONOLULU (AP) — COVID-19 vaccinations for 5-to 11-year-olds started at some Hawaii public schools on Monday.

Kalihi Uka Elementary in Honolulu was to hold a vaccination clinic. It got underway at 8:30 a.m. with a group of first graders. About 60 students, or a quarter of the school’s eligible children, signed up.

Parents need to sign consent forms for their children to be vaccinated. It’s up to individual schools whether parents will be allowed to accompany their child.

Shots are also available at some doctor’s offices, pharmacies and larger vaccination sites.

Parent Elizabeth Lugo was excited to have her child vaccinated.

“Like every family, we all have our elderly parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles,” said Lugo. “Getting vaccinated and having my children vaccinated gave us that extra protection.”

“When I get sick, I will be protected from the virus.” added Elizabeth’s daughter, Milena Lugo.

The clinics come about a week after U.S. health officials gave final approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot for children ages 5 to 11.

State Department of Health spokesman Brooks Baehr said the department hopes most of Hawaii’s 5- to 11-year-olds will get vaccinated in the next three weeks so they can be inoculated before the year-end holidays.

The department said 160 schools have expressed interest in holding clinics.