State extends COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those 70 and older

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The state announced it will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to kupuna who are 70 years old and older.

Starting Monday, March 8, those who are 70 or older will be able to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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“We have vaccinated enough people in those groups that we are able to open eligibility to everyone 70 and above. We will closely monitor how quickly vaccines are used and may open to people age 65 and up and those in phase 1c in a couple of weeks,” State Health Director Dr. Libby Char said.

Weekly vaccine allotments for the state have increased from about 40,000 doses to more than 67,000 doses.  The Department of Health says this increase and the recent emergency authorization of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine accelerates Hawaii’s vaccination schedule.

“We are excited to be ahead of schedule and pleased that we can now provide another layer of protection to this vulnerable population,” added Char.

Not all healthcare facilities who are administering the COVID-19 vaccine are vaccinating those between the ages of 70 and 74 years old due to limited supply. Contact your healthcare provider to determine eligibility.

“I think this vaccine is going to be a game changer for us,” said Char.

The state is inviting educators from the Department of Education to be vaccinated with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on Friday.

“It’s a single shot, so when we vaccinate those people with 11,900 doses, they are done,” said Char. “We don’t need to bring them back for a second dose and that’s going to be really advantageous for some people.”

The state advises that those who qualify for the vaccine to check the website for the latest on registrations. Updates may not be available yet since officials just made the announcement.

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