As the Hawaii starts to implement vaccine distribution, the state Health Department has outlines two phases for vaccine distribution on the islands; phase 1a, phase 1b and phase 1c, and phase 2. Those included in phase 1a are persons living in long-term care facilities and healthcare workers, phase 1b includes persons over 75, as well as front-line workers including educators and child care providers, phase 1c includes persons aged 16 and up who have high-risk medical conditions, essential workers who were not previously eligible, and adults ages 65 to 74, and lastly phase 2 includes all persons not previously eligible for vaccination. However due to supply shortages in the state, Hawaii’s kupuna have taken priority since they are among those who are most at risk.
Front lining Hawaii’s COVID-19 distribution are the Healthcare and Emergency Management organizations such as the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, the Hawaii Pacific Health network and its providers such as Staub, the Kapiolani and Wilcox centers, and Pali Momi, and many other organizations. Last week, the state received 32,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine. The challenge remains getting more vaccines. Phase 1a alone, healthcare workers and those in long-term care facilities, make up about 6% of Hawaii’s population alone, while phase 1b makes up about 20% of the state population, and phase 2 covers the remaining 27% of the Hawaiian population. Those who fall in phase 1c are currently not cleared to be vaccinated in the state.
As of yesterday, 18,200 of roughly 44,000 Department of Education personnel have indicated that they would like to be vaccinated via an online form. The Department of Health is sharing with medical providers in batches the names of those who are willing to be vaccinated. By last week, 9,000 names have been submitted to medical care providers who are administering the vaccines. Hawaii Pacific Health officials have already invited more than 6,5000 Hawaii school teachers to be vaccinated. The state’s goal is to vaccinate at least 100,000 people a month. Hawaii Pacific Health CEO mentioned in a news conference that Hawaii Pacific Health started off with 1,000 vaccinations per day, but hope to get up to quadruple that amount daily. Current operating COVID-19 vaccination centers in the City and County of Honolulu include but are not limited to the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall and pier 2 cruise terminal.
The vaccine is free to get, and is currently voluntary. However, the state Health Department has discussed possible mandatory vaccinations in the future, pending CDC guidelines. Health experts are stressing the importance of those who have received their first vaccine to follow up with their booster shot three weeks later. There still however is some growing concern regarding supply shortages in the state. While Oahu seems to be struggling in efforts to distribute ample enough vaccines for residents, neighbor islands have seemed to reportedly made more progress with the smaller populations.
To keep up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Hawaii, click here:
To register for your COVID-19 vaccine via Hawaii Pacific Health today, click here:
*Please note that scheduling remains subject to phase status.