Federal government aims to distribute more vaccine, brings hope to Hawaii working on limited supply


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The State said it has surpassed the 100,000 mark of vaccinations administered in a meeting with lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 26. News about the President’s plan to ramp up vaccination distribution brings hope, but right now health officials are working with a limited supply.

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More than 203,000 doses have been allocated to the State by the federal government. Just over 171,000 were actually received and more than 106,000 doses had been administered as of Sunday, Jan. 24, according to the meeting.

Department of Health (DOH) Director Dr. Elizabeth Char says, Hawaii is doing well when compared to the rest of the nation.

“I’m happy with where we are now, it will never be 100% because we can’t administer dose that we haven’t received and once it’s received it takes a few days to process before it’s ready to go out to somebody,” said Dr. Char.

The DOH also told KHON2 they need to allot a certain amount for second shots, which sometimes means keeping those doses in the freezer for a few days.

“We have the capacity to give about twice as many shots as we’ve been giving,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

Green told KHON2 he has heard Moderna plans to bump up production by 30%. There is also the announcement from the Biden administration about ordering millions of additional doses.

“If Biden is able to get that number of doses out, and also the diagnosis to go directly to pharmacies, I’m assuming that they’re talking about things like the Johnson and Johnson shot,” said Green. “That makes it possible for us to vaccinate tens of thousands of people faster.”

Green believes they would give people the option of moving their appointments up if there was a surplus in vaccine while prioritizing kupuna.

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