Hawaii to meet Biden’s new deadline to open vaccines by April 19 to all adults


HONOLULU (KHON2) — President Joe Biden is pushing up the nation’s vaccination registration deadline from Saturday, May 1, to Monday, April 19. The initial deadline was a challenge for Hawaii but now it is only Oahu that is left to open up registrations to those who are 16 years and older.

Hawaii has less than two weeks to meet Biden’s request to open COVID-19 vaccine registrations for all adults.

The Hilo Medical Center assistant administrator Kris Wilson said, nearly 11% of the people who attended the mass vaccination clinic on Saturday, April 3, were between 16 and 20 years old.

“For the 16, 17 and 18-year-olds who are still in high school, high school graduations and sports, these are all event that you want to make sure you have memories,” Wilson said. “I think their role is to make sure that they get the shot and help reduce that transmission.”

Kauai has the largest portion of its population vaccinated as of Tuesday, April 6, followed by Oahu, Hawaii County and Maui.

  • KAUAI:  25.7% (fully)
    • 38% (one dose)
  • OAHU:  17.7% (fully)
    • 28% (one dose)
  • MAUI:  14.9% (fully)
    • 30% (one dose)
  • BIG ISLAND:  17.5% (fully)
    • 31% (one dose)

Oahu remains in Phase 1C of its vaccination efforts.

The Health Association of Hawaii president and CEO Hilton Raethel said the state would need upwards of 300,000 doses in the next couple of weeks in order to have enough doses available by Monday, April 19.

“If we do open up on the 19th, which is just a couple of weeks away, we don’t have enough vaccine for everyone that needs to get immunized,” Raethel said. “And so people are going to have to wait. That’s just the reality. ”

A Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson said the state will meet the deadline, but says people will likely have to wait.

More than 90,000 doses were allocated during the week of Monday, April 5. The state will receive more than 76,000 doses during the week of Monday, April 12, while the allotment will shrink to about 70,000 during the week of Monday, April 19.

The decrease comes from Johnson and Johnson’s supply. The DOH received more than 20,000 doses from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine during the week of April 5, but the allotment will be about 2,000 for the week of April 12.

The DOH is not sure if the decrease is related to an incident in Baltimore where more than 15 million Johnson and Johnson doses spoiled.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said, he is in favor of Biden’s new aggressive deadline. Green said, it encourages people to sign up to get vaccinated.

Green said, “I totally support the president’s request to move to April 19, and we will  have to be understanding if it takes a little bit of time but we were getting close to it anyway.”

The DOH said the vaccine allocation to the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program is expected to increase and encourage people to explore vaccination opportunities at pharmacies.

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