Hawaii leads country in adults receiving 1 coronavirus vaccine dose


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii leads the country in adults 18 and older receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to the CDC website.

It comes as the state starts to close larger vaccine sites.

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Windward Community College and Leeward Community College will shut down their vaccine sites on Thursday, May 13.

A total of 1.3 million shots have been put into arms statewide, as of Friday, May 7.

“The good news is it looks to me like only about 10 states will be able to achieve herd immunity and we’ll be one of them if things continue this way,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

Another 55,000 Hawaii residents 12 and older could be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine late in the week of Monday, May 10.

“In anticipation of the fact that the federal government might open up Pfizer to those 12 and above, we’re ordering every drop of Pfizer we can possibly get we’re ordering more than 44,000 doses of Pfizer hoping that’ll come in next week, and it’s possible, we might even be able to squeeze a little bit more out of our federal allocation,” explained Brooks Baehr, Hawaii State Department of Health spokesperson.

Hilo Medical Center announced sign-ups will open for those who are 12 and older on Saturday, May 15, in anticipation for the emergency use authorization announcement.

“Within the first two and a half days, we got 200 appointments scheduled for our May 15 POD, and we wanted to schedule it at our last mass vaccination clinic on May 15,” explained Elena Cabatu, Director of Marketing at Hilo Medical Center.

She says parents and kids have been eager to sign up so they can gear up for summer, sports and traveling.

Hawaii Pacific Health and Queen’s Health Systems say they will keep vaccine PODS at Pier 2 and Blaisdell Concert Hall as long as they are needed, even though walk-ins are slowing down.

Hawaii Pacific Health vaccinated around 500 people at Waipahu High School on Thursday, May 6, and also rolled out its vax squad bus that will be traveling to 11 other high schools over the next two weeks.

“We figured if it’s slowing down at Pier 2, then let’s bring the vaccine to the schools,” explained Dr. Shilpa Patel, Hawaii Pacific Health physician liaison.  “And the community can take advantage of the proximity as well.”

“We’ll be in schools in the coming weeks, there’ll be a massive new push starting around May 24 for a lot more community outreach, community pods, that kind of thing,” explained Lt. Gov. Green.

He said, pharmacies will be crucial in the summer months.  

“We’re now number one in the country for 18 plus who have gotten at least one shot that’s at 72.6%. That’s really good news, because in three weeks, all these individuals are going to be essentially done,” he said. “We also are number five in the country for people who are fully vaccinated 18 plus, that’s at 50.7%, and then percentage of total population, we’re third, who’ve gotten at least one dose and that’s a 58%.”

He says he is hopeful that Hawaii will see a steep drop in COVID-19 cases because of the vaccination rollout by Thursday, July 1.

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