Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Schools to Soon Offer COVID-19 Vaccine for Keiki Ages 5-11

By Tiffany DeMasters
November 3, 2021, 11:17 AM HST
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

COVID-19 vaccination doses will be available for keiki at East Hawaiʻi clinics within the next week or two.

On Monday, Hilo Medical Center received 500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine approved for children ages 5-11. The shots will be offered at the two East Hawaiʻi Clinics in Hilo and the East Hawaiʻi Health in Keaʻau.

According to the Hawaiʻi Department of Education (HIDOE), about 100 schools statewide have expressed interest in serving as vaccination sites for children ages 5-11 so far. Some of the participating schools will begin administering vaccinations Monday, Nov. 8.

There are approximately 83,000 students enrolled in public schools who are in the 5-11 age range as of the start of this 2021-22 school year.

“As with our school-based clinics for adolescents 12 and older, many of the 5-11 school sites will be designed and operated as ‘closed’ sites that accommodate their enrolled students – and possibly immediate family members depending on availability,” HIDOE officials state. “This is to ensure safety when clinics are run during school hours. Schools will let their families know about these opportunities directly.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Vaccinations will require a parent/guardian consent form.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Although highly encouraged, HIDOE states COVID vaccinations are not mandatory for students to attend school.

While clinics will have doses available, HMC spokesperson Elena Cabatu said a lot of the vaccinations will be offered in the schools. For those who hope to schedule a vaccination with the clinics, she asked that people be patient.

Cabatu said it’s important to address reluctance and hesitation for the keiki vaccine case-by-case.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

“There’s a lot of parents who want to get their kids vaccinated,” she said. “Let’s not be timid about this. The data is there to support it.”

Kona Community Hospital won’t ramp up to do vaccines for keiki age 5-11, however, they are supportive and plan to help encourage parents to get their children vaccinated.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
Read Full Bio

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments (5)

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.