Maui Mayor Issues Statement About Unapproved COVID Treatments in County

Background photo of Mayor Victorino. PC: Office of Mayor Michael Victorino / Akaku

Mayor Michael Victorino issued this statement today in response to recent media coverage about unapproved treatments for COVID-19 in Maui County.

On Wednesday, the Honolulu Star Advertiser published a story entitled: “Top state health official and doctor on Maui promote controversial COVID-19 treatments that FDA warns are dangerous and even lethal.” The story delved into the reasons why some who do not want to get vaccinated have opted for the treatment protocol.

 “I strongly condemn off-label use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and/or the veterinary de-wormer ivermectin, as treatments for COVID-19. The FDA has not approved either of these drugs for treating or preventing COVID-19. Taking any drug for an unapproved use can be dangerous or lethal,” said Mayor Victorino.

According to the Mayor, more than 363 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the United States between Dec. 14, 2020 and Aug. 23, 2021, two million of these in Hawaiʻi.

“The vaccines have undergone, and continue to undergo, the most intensive safety monitoring in the nation’s history. Serious side effects are extremely rare. According to research from Vanderbilt University, the odds of dying from a COVID-19 vaccine reaction are about the same as being killed by lightning,” said Mayor Victorino.

Earlier this week, the FDA fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine. Mayor Victorino said that the approval came “because it met the agency’s high standards for quality, safety and efficacy.”

“Science has proven vaccines offer the best protection from the coronavirus. While no vaccine provides 100% defense, the Pfizer vaccine is 88% effective against symptomatic disease and 96% effective against hospitalization caused by the Delta variant,” said Mayor Victorino.

“I remind Maui County residents that more than 95% of those hospitalized at Maui Memorial Medical Center are unvaccinated. Vaccines are the safest way to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.”

Statewide, there are 414 people hospitalized with COVID-19, (348 of them are unvaccinated/ 53 are fully or partially vaccinated), according to Lt. Gov. Josh Green. This is up +151% from the 165 hospitalizations reported on Aug. 5, 2021. The state’s positivity rate is now at 8.3%.

According to Maui Health, there are a total of 38 individuals hospitalized in Maui County with COVID-19, (30 are unvaccinated and eight are vaccinated) according to counts last updated on Aug. 25, 2021. Of that number, seven COVID patients are in the ICU and three are on ventilators.

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