HONOLULU (KHON2) — The state says it will meet the President’s mandate to allow all adults to sign-up for a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday, April 19. Hawaii is going a step further and including 16- and 17-year-olds statewide.
This is already happening in each county except on Oahu.
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On Oahu, where vaccine eligibility has not yet opened up to 16 and older, people can get on a waitlist. State-run clinics in Mililani and Windward Community College have had these lists.
“At the end of the day, if there’s a dose or two or three left in a vial, we want to make sure we use it. We call the people on that wait list. We ensure they can be there in a short amount of time and then we give them those doses,” said Brooks Baehr of the Department of Health.
Those who would like to be placed on a wait list need to email email@example.com.
Extra doses at the University of Hawaii Maui College go to volunteers helping at that pod. There is also a list of government workers nearby who could get called to get a dose that was left over.
Baehr says people on Kauai used to want to be on the waitlist but eligibility has opened up to everyone 16 and older since Monday, April 5.
“They know they can just schedule a shot and come in at their convenience,” said Baehr. “So the market for the extra doses on Kauai has suddenly vanished and the challenge there now is to find a way to make sure we use those extra doses.”
Vaccine eligibility will be open to everyone statewide in less than two weeks, but Oahu residents may still want to take advantage of these wait lists.
“Just because the eligibility is opening up to everybody 16 and older, even here on Oahu on April 19, that still doesn’t mean we’ve got a vaccine for everyone yet,” Baehr said.
Baehr says the vaccine supply still does not match the demand, and despite the announcement from the President, the federal government is giving Hawaii fewer vaccine doses in the coming weeks.
“While our supply into the state of Hawaii through the Department of Health is going to be decreasing just a bit in the next few weeks, we do know the pharmacies through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program are seeing an increase in the supply of vaccine doses that they are receiving,” Baehr said.
The state is now pushing people to check the different pharmacies for vaccine appointments.
In a statement, CVS Health says:
“CVS Health is now administering vaccines in nearly 2,000 stores across 44 states – including more than 30 select CVS/Longs Pharmacies throughout Hawaii — the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Our army of trained and state-certified health care professionals is proud to be among the company’s thousands of professionals across the country helping to vaccinate their neighbors against COVID-19, bringing peace of mind to seniors, health care workers and first responders, teachers and school staff, loved ones and the larger community. We’re increasing the number of active store locations and expanding to additional states as fast as supply allows, with the capacity to administer up to 25 million shots per month nationwide.”