KAPA‘A — “Whoa! I didn’t feel that,” Kyary Cummings exclaimed.
Just minutes before, Kyary spoke about her fear of needles, asking adults who’ve gotten their COVID-19 vaccine how it felt.
But here she was, getting her first shot Thursday at BLANK, Samuel Mahelona Medical Center in Kapa‘a. A softball player, Kyary said she wanted the vaccine so she could travel to the Mainland and O‘ahu to play.
Thursday marked the first day adolescents age 12 to 15 were eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended. Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded this manufacturer’s emergency-use authorization of the vaccine to those 12 and older.
Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Kaua‘i Region Regional Chief Nurse Executive Cheryl Tennberg said the 3 o’clock clinic was a little later than normal but could accommodate a student’s schedule.
Since vaccine distribution had opened up to minors below 16, earlier this month, over 250 students had been vaccinated in Kapa‘a and Waimea, Tennberg said.
Harlen Newhart, 15, has been attending school in person and playing basketball. He said wanted to take the vaccine to be responsible and to keep his friends safe.
“It was easy,” Harlen said of the decision.
Vaccine clinics are available across the island, and are by appointment only.
Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
• Wilcox Medical Center (weekdays and Saturdays): WilcoxHealth.org/Vaccine
• Mahelona (Tuesday, May 18): kauai.hhsc.org
• Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital (Friday, May 14 and Monday, May 17): kauai.hhsc.org
• Lihu‘e Safeway (seven days a week): www.safeway.com/pharmacy
• Lihu‘e Longs/CVS (seven days a week): www.cvs.com/pharmacy