Major milestone reached in kūpuna vaccinations on O‘ahu
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, May 6, 2022
HONOLULU – Thanks to the significant work of our community partner organizations, effectively all of our kūpuna residing in the City and County of Honolulu are now fully vaccinated. According to the State Department of Health, 100.0% of those 65 years and older on O‘ahu have completed their initial series of COVID-19 vaccination. This is due in large part to the outstanding work of the Kūpuna Vaccination Outreach Group (KVOG), a public-private coalition of over 50 organizations that worked together to quickly mobilize support for vaccine access to ensure no kūpuna were left behind.
That is why Mayor Rick Blangiardi proclaimed May 6, 2022 to be “KVOG Day” in the City and County of Honolulu. He was joined by founding members of KVOG and instrumental partners in a small ceremony at Honolulu Hale, where he presented a proclamation honoring the incredible achievements of the Kūpuna Vaccination Outreach Group.
KVOG was established under the leadership of the Department of Community Services (DCS) Elderly Affairs Division (EAD) of the City and County of Honolulu along with AARP Hawai‘i and the Hawaiʻi State Executive Office on Aging. Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute (HIPHI) supported coordination of the group’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the community as part of its contract with EAD.
“Mahalo to all of the community partners who came together to reach this remarkable milestone, and an even bigger mahalo to our kūpuna for leading by example with their efforts to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “Kūpuna are the backbone of our society and figures in the community we look to for wisdom and guidance in times like these. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and convenient, and are still the best safeguard against this dreadful virus. We truly appreciate everyone’s support and commitment to the kūpuna vaccination effort, your strong desire to help allowed us to move forward and better navigate our road to recovery.”
“We are grateful to have been part of amazing community effort to ensure our most vulnerable and hard to reach kūpuna were not forgotten,” said Derrick Ariyoshi, administrator of the City’s Department of Community Services, Elderly Affairs Division. “All credit goes to the incredible community partners who stepped up in time of need and truly made a difference”.
KVOG support included:
- Coordinating with community health providers to provide vaccine access for over 10,000 kūpuna at low income senior housing properties, Adult Day Care sites, senior centers, and at home.
- Standing up a Kūpuna Vaccination Call Center to make COVID-19 vaccine registration possible for those kūpuna without a computer or internet access. The Call Center was made possible through a contract by EAD with Aloha United Way and St. Francis Healthcare System in which kūpuna could get assistance by simply calling 2-1-1.
- Providing direct outreach to over 15,000 kūpuna and kūpuna caregivers through outgoing phone calls and door-to-door visits.
- Organizing interpretation and translation support, appointment scheduling and registration assistance, transportation, and home visits.
- Coordinating COVID-19 booster shots at low-income senior housing properties.
“Though many barriers stood in the way, kūpuna have been incredible leaders throughout the pandemic,” said Lindsey Ilagan, Kūpuna Program Manager at the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute. “Our kūpuna have set an example for all of our communities on how to stay protected against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated.”
For images and video from the KVOG vaccination effort at the Pohulani Senior Living Apartments, please click here. Courtesy “City and County of Honolulu” for use of these visuals.
Please click here for additional video and images, courtesy of Kaiser Permanente.
The City’s Department of Community Services Elderly Affairs Division is the designated Area Agency on Aging for O‘ahu. Created by the federal Older Americans Act of 1965, it is one of 600 Area Agencies on Aging nationwide. Its mission is to develop a comprehensive and coordinated system of services to assist older persons in leading independent, meaningful, and digniﬁed lives in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. For more information or assistance, please call our Senior Helpline: (808) 768-7700.