HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige says he’s confident Hawaii will be able to fully vaccinate 60% of its population by July.
He says getting to 70% is another story, but he has a backup plan.
The governor admits that getting 70% of the population fully vaccinated will be difficult, but he says he is willing to go below that under certain conditions.
He says the vaccine incentive program will make a difference in reaching the state’s vaccination goal. With the number of people who recently received their first shot, Gov. Ige says Hawaii is on track to reach 60% in July.
“If we keep on track, within four weeks those 60 percent with one dose should become 60 percent with two doses,” said Gov. Ige.
“What happens if we don’t get to 70%? What do you do next?” KHON2 asked the governor.
“We are continuing to look at the new case counts and hospitalizations and they have to at least stabilize and slowly come down, so we’ll be looking at those things,” he said.
Gov. Ige adds that if the seven-day average comes down to 10 new cases or below, then he would feel safe about lifting all restrictions. But he wants residents to stay focused on reaching that 70%, which he says can be done by August. He says misinformation is still the biggest obstacle.
“Those who say they are hesitant, 2/3 of them cite one of those myths that have been circulating around on social media,” said Gov. Ige.
Those myths include getting COVID from the vaccine and that the vaccine is just a placebo. Gov. Ige says everyone should take the opportunity to educate those who are not getting the right information.
“It’s also about your friends and family going, oh are you vaccinated? If not let’s go, because it is the people-to-people connection that will really help us get to that 70%,” said Gov. Ige.
He adds that the state continues to work with healthcare professional the get the right message out.