Hawaii begins second round of vaccinations for healthcare workers


HONOLULU (KHON2) — It has been 21 days since the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Hawaii and hospitals on Oahu are beginning to administer the second dose to healthcare workers to build-up protection against the virus.

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Kaiser Permanente Honolulu registered nurse and clinic manager Emily Dempsey said, they plan to vaccinate 200 employees before the end of the week.

Dempsey said, “I’m due for my second shot next week, which I’m really excited about because that’s when you know, we’re going to get that over 90% protection.” 

Kaiser reported that none of the more than 2,000 workers who received the first dose of the COVID vaccine experienced any serious side effects.

“We’re ready for more,” Dempsey said. “We want to vaccinate as many people as we can to help move forward and kind of turn that corner for hopefully, some normal life again.”  

Healthcare workers continue to treat the sickest patients and are among the first in the state to get the two recommended doses.

The Queen’s Medical Center began administering the second dose to employees on Monday, Jan. 4.

The vaccine clinic at Hawaii Pacific Health is scheduled to administer a second dose to more than 2,000 workers during the week of Monday, Jan. 4.

Hawaii Pacific Health chief quality officer Dr. Melinda Ashton said, they streamlined the process during the three weeks of vaccinations.

“We’ve done over 5,000 doses of vaccine as of the end of last week,” Ashton said. “So of course, all of those folks will be needed a second dose, and then we continue to do first doses as well. We currently have appointments for some 7,000 first doses this week and next.”  

Kaiser Permanente and Hawaii Pacific Health have also started to vaccinate community healthcare providers — who are not affiliated with the hospitals — under the direction of the Department of Health.

Medical workers said they continue to take COVID-19 safety measures by wearing personal protective equipment. Dempsey said, the vaccine gives her hope that seeing loved ones could soon feel safe once again.

“I’ve been really careful and haven’t seen any of my family, and that’s been really hard,” Ashton said. “But I think this is going to help us as long as we get the community involved, and everybody’s going to be willing to get the shot, we can get that herd immunity that’s going to help protect all of us.”

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