HONOLULU (KHON2) — The city is partnering with the State Department of Health (DOH) to administer nearly 3,700 COVID vaccines to first responders over the next six days.
Those on the front lines during emergencies now have the option to be vaccinated against the virus. EMS Paramedic Shirley Ann Cazinha was the first in “Phase 1B” to receive the shot.
“Every day we have been coming to work, putting on our PPE, treating patients appropriately,” Cazinha said. “Many of us don’t see our own families because we are afraid of what we may be carrying.”
Hawaii has received 33,450 doses of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines so far, and doses have been shipped to all counties. Hospitals such as Maui Memorial Medical Center and Kona Community Hospital will begin inoculating workers on Wednesday, Dec. 23.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green got the shot on the morning of Tuesday, December 22. He said about 7,000 medical workers got the shot last week. Green falls in “Phase 1A” as an emergency room doctor.
Green said, “So here I am on the second week, with a lot of fighters, policemen, lots of first responders.”
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard also attended the city and state’s first round of COVID vaccinations for first responders. She said she decided to get the shot after taking time to do research.
“I was on the fence of taking this vaccine,” Ballard said. “I want to make sure that everybody understands that it is a personal choice for everybody, whether they take the vaccine.”
As of Tuesday, Dec. 22, 465 first responders had signed up to get the vaccine this week.
Queen’s Medical Center is also working to increase the number of people getting vaccinated each day. The medical facility’s President, Jason Chang, says people who were previously infected with COVID-19 should still get the vaccine.
“I think that’s about our cadence, somewhere between 800 and 1,000 vaccinations a day,” Chang said. “Yesterday, we received 3,000 vaccine doses, and next Monday we are anticipating 5,000 additional doses.”
People over 65 and those living in nursing homes are next to get the COVID-19 shot. The DOH said Walgreens and Longs will begin vaccinations at assisted living facilities on Monday, Dec 28.
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