Hawaii officials did not consider mandate to vaccinate students
HONOLULU (AP) – Hawaii’s public school system has yet to consider requiring vaccinations for eligible students.
Hawaii Department of Education Acting Superintendent Keith Hayashi told Board of Education members the decision would rest with the Department of Health, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. reported Friday.
Department of Health spokesperson Brooks Baehr said the agency “is not currently discussing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students aged 12 and older. We are focusing on voluntary vaccination. of those who are eligible today. ”
Hayashi said he did not know how many of the state’s 87,000 vaccine-eligible students had been vaccinated. Hayashi said that 90.4% of salaried employees at the Education Ministry statewide were fully or partially vaccinated.
State officials have reported around 3,000 cases of COVID-19 in schools since July.
Education Council member Bruce Voss said the state already requires students to be vaccinated against other diseases.
“Given that these vaccinations are required for all students on the basis of science, then why isn’t there more urgency to determine if or when a student mandate (for COVID-19 vaccination) might be necessary? ” Voss asked.
Hayashi said the education ministry relies on state health officials and will contact them to discuss a vaccination warrant.
Voss “strongly encouraged” this discussion and called on DOE officials “to act quickly.”