Certain essential workers included in Phase 1C of vaccines asked to wait by DOH


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) admitted there was confusion during this week’s rollout of Phase 1C of the state’s vaccination program.

Officials are now asking certain workers within that phase to continue to wait for their shot.

The initial announcement to open COVID-19 vaccines to group 1C opened up the flood gates to more than 500,000 people. DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr said, there are not enough doses for all of them and certain essential workers will be prioritized.

Baehr said, “65 and above, people with respiratory issues that require oxygen, people on dialysis and chemotherapy and other types of infusion therapy, along with people who work at hotels, restaurants and bars, right now, we want you guys to be taken care of.”  

Baehr said the DOH is now asking workers in finance, banking, construction and others to wait to get the shot — even if they were included in the initial rollout.

“Because we have seen people in restaurants, people in hotels and people in bars that have been exposed to COVID, there has been transmissions in those areas,” Baehr said. “We have prioritized those people right at the top.”

The changes within group 1C are now reflected on the DOH website.

Kaiser Permanente, Hawaii Pacific Health and Queen’s said they are following DOH guidelines and essential workers who were asked to wait will be contacted for a future appointment.

Baehr said, workers who were initially included in Phase 1C and have signed up for an appointment should follow through with their shots, however.

“We’re not going to hold it against someone who is in construction, or who’s a banker and sees that they’ve already singed up, then please, by all means, you know, go ahead and get yourself vaccinated,” Baehr said. “It’s not your fault that that, you know, that confusion was created.”  

More than 494,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Hawaii as of Wednesday, March 17.

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