HONOLULU (AP) — Hundreds of Special Olympic athletes with intellectual disabilities have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a facility in Hawaii.
Physicians and medical employees from Kaiser Permanente worked in tandem with Special Olympics Hawaii to administer shots at Consolidated Theatres Kapolei on Saturday.
More than 250 people attended to receive their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine. The Special Olympics athletes and coaches said they decided to receive the vaccine because they felt it was important to do their part for society.
“I think it’s important to get this because if you don’t, you cannot go out, but if you do have one vaccination you still got to keep your distance and wear a mask,” said Cassilly Woll, a Special Olympics athlete. Kaiser Permanente hosted the vaccination clinic to inoculate community members who are at higher risk of severe illness after contracting the virus.
“One of the challenges that individuals with intellectual disabilities have is social isolation, so you can imagine the effect that COVID has had on this community,” said Daniel Epstein, president and CEO of Special Olympics Hawaii.