Advocates maintain drive to spice up vaccinations amongst disabled residents

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Harry Yamada is a carer for a disabled client.

He has helped her organize a COVID-19 vaccination and he urges other caregivers and disabled people to do the same.

“There are many disabled people in our community and in our neighborhood. It’s our family members, our friends, our neighbors, ”he said.

The Hawaii Disability Rights Center makes it easy for disabled people to get vaccinated.

On Saturday, the center will partner with Hawaii Pacific Health to conduct the first of two free COVID-19 vaccination drives at the Waikele Center in the parking lot near Petco.

HDRC executive director Louis Erteschik said that transportation arrangements can be made for disabled people who need it.

“The main thing is that it is really important to do this for people with disabilities who are at higher risk. If they get COVID and are not vaccinated, they are much more likely to have a negative result, ”he said.

The event is ADA accessible and volunteers will be there to help.

“You can help them if they are blind, have a visual impairment or an intellectual disability. Our employees know how to deal with this population. We will have an ASL interpreter for the deaf or hard of hearing, ”said Erteschik.

Chuukese and Tagalog interpreters will also be present.

The vaccination campaign is aimed at disabled people, but is open to everyone. Adults aged 18 and over should bring ID. People between the ages of 12 and 17 must be present by a parent or legal guardian.

“Hawaii Pacific Health emailed us late last night saying that 220 people had signed up for an appointment. We’re very happy about that, ”said Erteschik.

No appointment is required. You can just come by and choose the two-dose Pfizer vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.

If you are disabled and can’t make it on Saturday, HDRC will come to your home. This is what the Yamada customer decided to do.

“It’s all free. It’s a win-win situation, ”he said.

The vaccination event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call the Hawaii Disability Rights Center at 949-2922.

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