HONOLULU (KHON2) — The State continues to order large quantities of the vaccine from the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed. The Department of Health (DOH) counted on approximately 80,000 doses to arrive before the end of 2020 but has only received 61,450 as of Wednesday, Dec. 30.
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Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who is also the state’s COVID-19 Healthcare Liaison, was among the healthcare workers who got the vaccine a week after its rollout in the state. He was also among the more than 21,000 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Hawaii.
“It was a crazy year, we figured out that COVID was hitting our shores in February, we shut our state down. We reopened it, we saw a surge,” Green said. “I caught COVID in September. The vaccination teams put it together, the scientists figured it out. And we’re actually vaccinating people here in December. I mean, it’s kind of crazy to think of in those terms.”
Approximately 20,000 people have gotten the vaccine in Hawaii as of Wednesday, Dec. 30, and the State has received 61,450 doses. CVS Health and Walgreens receive their own shipment of doses separate from the State’s allotment through a contract with the U.S. government to administer vaccines at nursing homes.
The DOH and the City have set up a point of dispensing (POD) site at Leeward Community College for first responders to get the shot. The DOH plans vaccination sites ahead of its arrival, but the POD is not announced until the doses reach the department in case of shipment delays.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 12.4 million doses have been distributed around the nation, but only 2.7 million people have gotten the shot.
Green expects vaccine production to ramp-up next year. He said the 60,000 doses could more than double.
“January, February, March, if we can’t get 150,000 doses, each of those months, keep our fingers crossed,” Green said, “We may not get quite that many. But if we do, that would mean since you need two shots, essentially, 75,000, 75,000, 75,000 people vaccinated.”
Meanwhile, kupuna over 75-years-old out of nursing homes have also started to get the shot. Green said, there are more than 109,000 people in that age bracket.
Green was among the doctors at a POD for workers of a drug and alcohol treatment program on the Windward side. He said, larger POD locations will provide the vaccine to more people soon.
“To get these vaccinations more available in geographically easy to reach places. And it’ll become second nature,” Green said. “Soon, you’ll be seeing signs out saying vaccination center here, register at this website.”
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