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COVID-19 vaccinations start in some Hawaii public schools

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

Kalihi Uka Elementary in Honolulu was said to host a vaccination clinic. It started at 8:30 am with a group of first graders. About 60 students, or a quarter of the school’s eligible children, applied.

Parents must sign consent forms to have their children vaccinated. It is up to the individual schools whether parents are allowed to supervise their child.

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

Parent Elizabeth Lugo was thrilled that her child was being vaccinated.

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

“If I get sick, I’m protected against 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 injection for children ages 5 to 11.

Department of Health spokesman Brooks Baehr said the department hopes most children ages 5 to 11 in Hawaii will be vaccinated in the next three weeks so they can be vaccinated before the holiday season.

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