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The Conversation

Kaʻōhao School principal shares upcoming vaccination plans and COVID updates

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose children at Kapiʻolani Medical Center
Courtesy Hawaiʻi Pacific Health
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Anna Johnson, 11, receives a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose at Kapiʻolani Medical Center on Nov. 3, 2021.

COVID-19 vaccination clinics for younger keiki are rolling out this week at most private schools, some public schools and charter schools — including Kaʻōhao Elementary, a charter school on the windward side of Oʻahu.

"Education is the job that we're in, and we try to provide as much education and information to families to receive the vaccine," said Winston Sakurai, the principal of Kaʻōhao, formerly known as Lanikai Elementary in Kailua.

"It is optional and it's voluntary. We're not trying to put undue pressure on anyone. But we are encouraging and promoting vaccines," he said. "We want students to be in school, on campuses, and vaccines is one pathway to reach that — we just wish the pandemic was over."

Kaʻōhao's first vaccination clinic for its students is on Saturday so parents can be with their children. The second dose day is Dec. 4. Staff members from Adventist Health Castle will administer the shots.

"What we expect is about 30% of our school population to come to the clinic this Saturday," Sakurai said. "We have some early adopters who have already gotten the shot in the arms of their keiki by making appointments with either their physicians or going through other locations, but nationwide, about 30% is the response rate for the initial round of vaccines for those anticipated in the 5-11 group."

Sakurai said the school has recorded one positive COVID-19 case within the past two months. He also said over 90% of the staff are vaccinated.

Click here for more vaccine locations for all ages across O‘ahu.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Nov. 11, 2021.

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