Mass vaccinations for Oahu elderly starts Monday


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Mass vaccinations are about to get underway for Hawaii’s elderly. The biggest one will start on Monday, Jan. 18, at Honolulu Harbor’s Pier 2.

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The most important thing to know is individuals have to make an appointment to get vaccinated, no walk-ins. That should help make the process go faster and ensure that there are enough vaccines for those who have an appointment.

Preparations are already ongoing at Pier 2, which will serve as a vaccination center for Hawaii Pacific Health. The focus right now is those who are 75 and older.

On Monday, Jan. 12, more than 500 people will get vaccinated. From Tuesday, Jan. 12, through Saturday, Jan. 23, the center will be able to innoculate more than 1,500 people each day.

“We cannot manage walk-ins. We have to be very careful that every appointment that we make is matched up with a dose of vaccine. We don’t want anybody coming and just dropping in in the hopes that they might get a shot, we can’t do that,” said Dr. Melinda Ashton, HPH Chief Quality Officer.

Dr. Ashton says, they did a dry run on Friday, Jan. 15, with 400 vaccinations to make sure things go smoothly. Among them was a very grateful Sue Francis.

“Because this is what’s gonna make a big difference for all of us,” she said.

Queen’s Medical Center, which has already given 10,000 vaccines to frontline healthcare workers, will hold mass vaccinations at the Blaisdell Center for those 75 and older starting Monday, Jan. 25.

“They should know that we’re gonna be giving immunizations from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and that’s gonna be six days a week. We’re gonna be closed on Tuesdays,” said Mary Bedell, Queen’s Vaccine Coordinator.

Health officials acknowledge there are plenty of challenges like getting enough vaccines and coordinating them for upcoming appointments.

“The challenge for us also is that we only find out on Thursday how much vaccine we’re going to get for the following week. So that makes it really tough to plan ahead. But we know things are ramping up a bit, we’re optimistic about that,” said Dr. Elizabeth Char, Hawaii Department of Health Director.

Queen’s says it will provide more information for appointments with the link to the website next week. To make an appointment at Pier 2, click here.

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