Vaccination Update: Details on Rollout Outlined
Governor David Ige provided an update today on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts saying healthcare workers, residents and staff at nursing homes are currently getting vaccinated. The second doses of the vaccine have started to arrive and will also be administered.
Additionally, first responders, frontline essential workers, and those 75 years of age and older are also beginning to be offered the vaccine.
Following that, the next phase will involve vaccination for people over the age of 65. It will also include those over 16 who are at high risk of COVID-19 complications and other essential workers. By early summer, the vaccine will be open to all community members, according to the state’s plan.
(A full breakdown of who is included in each phase and when the phase will roll out is provided by scrolling down in this article).
Gov. Ige said, “I am asking everyone to maintain our vigilance and continue the safe practices that have made Hawaiʻi a leader in containing the spread of COVID-19: Wearing masks, washing hands and watching distances. By doing this – and getting vaccinated when it’s our turn – we can protect public health, revive the economy, and strengthen our communities.”
Those who may qualify for the vaccine, but are not connected to a specific care setting or employer, are asked to make sure that in the coming days, they visit the state’s hawaiicovid19.com website. State officials say there will be links and more guidance in the coming weeks where the public will be able to click ‘I need/want a vaccine’ and be guided for further instruction. The state will also be establishing a phone line where people can call.
Hawaiʻi Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said the state will be ramping up distribution in about two weeks for those that fall into the Phase 1b category. He said the second week of January is projected to be a time when the federal government and their supply chain can give Hawaiʻi more vaccine each week.
“It has started already, and we’ve begun to vaccinate some individuals in that category including first responders,” said Lt. Gov. Green, noting that Hawaiʻi can get to herd immunity if approximately 75 to 80 percent of the population gets vaccinated.
According to Lt. Gov. Green, a recent poll conducted by the state showed about 55 percent of respondents said they would absolutely like to vaccinated, and other 25 percent said they were open to being convinced.
“I think that 80 percent of our population ultimately will get the vaccine–that’s 80 percent of 1.4 million–that’s over a million people,” he said.
To date, the state has received over 82,000 doses of vaccination. Lt. Gov. Green said the state expects to get towards 25,000 doses this week. The projection he said, based upon information that has been shared with the state to date, is plans for receipt of 150,000 doses each month at some point in the future.
There are an estimated 609,000 people combined who fall into phases 1 a, b and c, and large-scale sites are currently being set up for the distribution effort.
Lt. Gov. Green said, “Our number one priority is to keep everyone safe while working as quickly and efficiently as possible to utilize the vaccine and get it out the door and into arms. We ask for everyone’s patience as we, and the world, take on this monumental task.”
Phase 1a: December 2020 – January 2021
- Healthcare Workers: Paid and unpaid personnel serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. (Est. total: 40,000)
- Long-Term Care Facility Residents: Adults who reside in facilities that provide a variety of services, including medical and personal care to individuals unable to live independently. (Est. total: 10,000)
Phase 1b: December 2020 – March 2021
- Hawaiʻi Residents Age 75+: Adults over the age of 75. (Est. total: 109,000)
- Frontline Essential Workers: Workers whose duties must be performed on-site and require being in close proximity to the public or coworkers, are at substantially higher risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and are essential to the functioning of society with special attention to life and safety first. This includes: first responders; corrections officers and staff; emergency services dispatchers; individuals essential for federal, state and local government operations; critical transportation infrastructure workers (harbor and dock workers, public transportation, etc.); critical utilities (energy, water, etc.); teachers and childcare and educational support staff (childcare, preschool, early education, K-12, post-secondary, etc.); US Postal Service employees. (Est. total: 50,000)
Phase 1c: TBD: March – May 2021 (Est. total: 400,000)
- Hawaiʻi Residents Age 65+: Adults ages 65-74
- Individuals w/Underlying Medical Conditions: Individuals of all authorized vaccine eligible ages with comorbid and underlying conditions that put them at increased risk for severe COVID-19.
- Other Essential Workers: Essential workers not included in Phase 1b
- Vaccine distribution may occur concurrently between phases
- Within each phase, vaccinations will be distributed to populations prioritized to the eldest first, then by descending age order
- Vaccinations may be redistributed if significant outbreaks or clusters occur
- Priority groups may be extended to include others if deemed necessary to limit spread of disease, morbidity or mortality
- Where possible, vaccination may be distributed to populations prioritized geographically in consideration of current disease activity, disproportionately affected communities and health and socio-economic vulnerabilities
Phase 2 and 3
Vaccination of the general population is projected to begin in early summer 2021 depending on production and federal allocation of doses through “Operation Warp Speed.”