The State Department of Health released an updated summary of its COVID-19 vaccination plan on Friday, which relates to how the vaccine will eventually be provided to all Hawaiians at the end of the summer.
Since mid-December, New York State and its partners have been administering vaccines in accordance with Phase 1-A of the plan, which includes hospital staff, residents, and long-term care facility staff. These categories are estimated to account for 6% of Hawaii’s approximately 1.4 million population.
The department said Friday night on Friday that more than 35,000 vaccinations have been administered statewide, Hawaii has received 91,700 doses of vaccines statewide, and another 17,550 have been ordered for delivery next week.
The department did not specify a specific date for Phase 1-B, but said that detailed information on how to vaccinate elderly people over 75 is expected to begin next week. In addition, the location and opening date (or distribution point) of the large pod will be announced soon.
Stage 1-C includes people 65 to 74 years old, and 16 to 64 years old with high-risk medical conditions, and other basic workers, and is estimated to account for 47% of the state’s population.
Finally, Phase 2 includes the remaining population (people over 16 years of age who have not been in any previous category), which is expected to start in early summer, depending on the federal dose allocation.
The department said that based on the estimated number of people in each of these priority groups, 73% of the state’s population will be vaccinated by the completion of the first phase, while the remaining 27% will be vaccinated in the second phase.
The department stated that the various stages can also overlap, and in each stage, the oldest residents will be given priority.
State Health Director Dr. Libby Char said in the press release: “We will continue to do our best to ensure that we implement the vaccination program vigorously and orderly.” “Our plan prioritizes those who are in direct contact. People with the virus and those at risk of severe COVID-19 infection, disability or death. The safe and orderly launch ensures our efficient operations to minimize dose waste and improve patient safety.”
At the same time, some hospitals are preparing to provide patients with a COVID-19 vaccine.
Kaiser Permanente is currently working with the Department of Health to vaccinate medical staff who are receiving the second round of Pfizer vaccination and independent medical staff who are not necessarily members.
Dionicia Lagapa, director of clinical operations at Kaiser, said that it is preparing to notify patients in phase 1-B of the availability of the vaccine next week, with a target launch date of January 18.
She said that Kaiser will use e-tickets or e-access systems for its members. These members will be able to schedule appointments online, while those who do not have access to the Internet have other options. She said that during the pandemic, many members, including kupuna, were already familiar with and satisfied with online services and telemedicine opportunities.
Andrea Eshelman, deputy director of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, said that due to more vacancies on Garden Isle, educators and school employees on Kauai are expected to be vaccinated as early as Monday.
For teachers from other islands, as part of Phase 1-B, the expected start date is late January or early February. She said that more than 40,000 vaccinations are expected.
The Kauai District Health Office said that more than 3,000 people on Garden Island have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and the hospital there will announce detailed plans for people 75 and older on Monday.
On Monday, Kauai officials provided the vaccine to educators and childcare workers. The vaccine will be available to essential staff in the food and agriculture, manufacturing, grocery and postal departments later this month.
Governor David Ige said in the spotlight in Hawaii on Friday that he believes that the vaccine rollout has gone well so far.
In an interview with Spotlight, Iger said: “I do think the promotion of these vaccines on the island is going very well.” “Obviously, we want to get more vaccines. We know there are many anxiety disorders, and we want to vaccinate people as soon as possible.”
He said that one of the challenges facing the launch of the product is that the state will notify the number of deliveries each week in a short time. The state finds out how much goods will be delivered on Thursday or next Monday or Tuesday.
Governor Josh Green last Thursday urged residents to pause for two weeks at any social gatherings and said he expects to increase vaccination in mid-January.
Last Thursday, the state set a new record high with 322 new confirmed cases. This is the highest number since mid-August, when the number soared to 355 and was mainly attributed to holiday gatherings. Last Friday, the case remained high, with 264 infections and 4 deaths, bringing the state’s total since the pandemic began to 22,895, with 303 deaths.