Unusual Oahu locations provide opportunity to battle coronavirus

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — A water park, a restaurant and a farmer’s market.

They are places one would not expect to receive health care, but that was where folks got their COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday, June 12.

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The Queen’s Health Systems and the Department of Health teamed up to bring vaccines and education in a convenient way.

Clinics were held at Wet’N’Wild, Zippy’s in Waiau and the Kapiolani Community College Farmer’s Market. All vaccines were free of cost and insurance was not required.

With 54% of Hawaii now fully vaccinated, Queen’s says they have to get creative to include the rest who are eligible.

“Now we’re at a phase that we’re trying to reach those that are a little more hesitant or not as interested so making it a part of everyday normal life really provides the access people need in case they’re interested or the opportunity to get education,” said Queen’s Director of Native Hawaiian Health Kau’i Mishizaki.

Incentives were also provided by the hosts. Zippy’s offered a $5 coupon and Wet’N’Wild offered around $20 off of passes to those who got vaccinated.

“They reached out and they are excited about participating because they want to get back to normal life and are encouraging families to come out utilize their services,” Mishizaki said.

There was no swimming for Ewa Beach resident Angelic Galarza and her 12-year-old son Jardeene.

“My son was confused he was like ‘oh mom we’re not going to a hospital,’ and I said no it’s a mass clinic and they set up wherever,” Galarza said.

There was also no line, however.

“When I found out about this I stopped stressing trying to get in last week by appointment, just come up and go. It’s so easy he’s done two seconds,” Galarza said.

Queen’s put on all three clinics. They say outreach programs like this trace back to the Hawaiian Monarchy.

The Medical Center was founded in 1859 when smallpox and other diseases were sweeping the globe and devastating the islands.

“Queen Emma and King Kamehameha founded the hospital during a pandemic much like this one when there were people dying of epidemics that were introduced coming to our islands and at that time the hospital was founded to do exactly this which is to provide medical care that could save lives,” Mishizaki said.

Wet’N’Wild will host another clinic on Saturday, June 26, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, and the KCC Farmer’s Market will host another clinic on Saturday, June 19, from 7:30 am to 11:00 am.

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