First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, governor and health officials urge getting vaccinated

Posted on Jul 29, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Jolene Mears of Kailua-Kona and family won two roundtrip tickets on Alaska Airlines.

Jolene Mears of Kailua-Kona and family won two roundtrip tickets on Alaska Airlines.

The state Department of Health doesn’t want you gambling with your life — or the lives of others. That’s why they’re leading the charge to get as many people in Hawai‘i vaccinated as possible. “Ninety-eight percent of the COVID-19 cases we’ve seen recently are in unvaccinated people,” said DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr. “The goal of reaching 70 percent of the population being fully vaccinated is absolutely attainable, but it will take time. Lana‘i did it. The rest of the state can too.” (Check https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/current-situation-in-hawaii/ to see maps of vaccination rates on every island.)

New interim Department of Education superintendent Keith Hayashi, Hawai‘i First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, Governor Ige and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden congratulate those getting vaccinated at a pop-up clinic at Waipahu High School

New interim Department of Education superintendent Keith Hayashi, Hawai‘i First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, Governor Ige and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden congratulate those getting vaccinated at a pop-up clinic at Waipahu High School (Provided by: White House Photo Office).

Governor Ige, DOH officials and other health care professionals are especially concerned about the recent surge of triple-digit COVID-19 cases, due mostly to the highly transmissible Delta variant — now present in cases statewide. Getting vaccinated is more important and easier than ever, with pop-up and walk-in clinics and outreach through community organizations. With the new school year starting, children under age 12 who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated yet are especially vulnerable, so it’s up to adults to protect them. Of the 243 new cases reported July 22 in Hawai‘i, about 27 percent of them were children and teens age 18 and under.

Their concern was echoed by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who implored Hawai‘i residents to get vaccinated during her brief visit to the islands last month. At a pop-up vaccination clinic at Waipahu High School July 25, she emphasized, “Being fully vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from hospitalization and death.” She also praised Governor Ige and the state’s pandemic response. “David, from the beginning of this pandemic, you’ve done everything you could to protect the people of Hawai‘i. You’ve led Hawai‘i on our mission to vaccinate everyone, and you continue to lead with science and compassion.”

The HIGotVaccinated campaign is also in full swing and slated to run through Aug. 31. More new prizes have been added, including three $5,000 cash prizes offered by American Savings Bank, a Kaimana Beach Hotel stay-cation package, restaurant gift cards, and many other incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated. Go to https://higotvaccinated.com/ for details.

Read more in the August Capitol Connection newsletter.

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