HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s been two months since we’ve been vaccinating folks. As we get deeper into Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan, Lieutenant Governor Josh Green says the next major jump will be to our 65 to 74 year olds, especially those with health conditions.
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Lieutenant Governor Green tells us there are about 148,000 people who are 65 to 74 years old. He’s hoping to start vaccinating this group in about two weeks.
Green says we’re getting an additional 42,000 doses this week. More is expected with the anticipated approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine possibly by the end of the month.
“We’re going to get 50,000 doses in consistently in our state by that date,” said Green. “Then you add the Johnson and Johnson shot, which would be another 15- to 20,000 doses per week. And, you know, it adds up.”
We’re told the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is just one shot but less effective. It has not been determined who in the state will get this particular vaccine once it gets the green light.
“It’s effective for 66% to 72% of the population,” said Green. “That means that it’s better suited for individuals, that are slightly lower risk.”
So where are we in Phase 1B? The Health Department tells us as of last week, about 47% of those who are 75 and older have been given at least one shot. Looking at the bigger picture, about 11% of the total population has gotten at least one dose. The Health Department says it anticipates vaccine supply will increase in March and April. If so, they will be able to accelerate their pace.
Hawaii Pacific Health runs the mass vaccination site at Pier 2 and tells us once they get more vaccine they can start opening up more appointments.
“We’re set up to do, you know, two to three times the volume that we are currently doing because of the vaccine availability or lack of vaccine availability,” said Dr. Shilpa Patel of HPH. “As of today, we’ve done over 40,000 people total at Pier 2.”
Until there’s more supply, they’re only doing second shots.
“Today was our last day of first shots,” said Dr. Patel. “Today we vaccinated close to 1,500 Department of Education teachers, basically, and people who work in schools.”
The Queen’s Health Systems, which runs another mass vaccination site at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, also says they’re only administering second shots until more arrive. They report a grand total of more than 53,000 doses administered so far. This includes all their vaccination clinics.