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Thursday, March 11, 2021
Vaccinations for Age 65+ and Tourism Industry Workers Begin Monday
By News Release @ 11:48 PM :: 2826 Views :: Tourism, COVID-19


News Release from Hawaii DoH, Mar 11, 2021

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Health announces the state will extend vaccine eligibility to people age 65 and older and those who qualify as members of phase 1c beginning Monday, March 15.

“This is another huge step in the ongoing effort to protect Hawaii residents from COVID-19,” said State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “We will continue to administer vaccines soon after they arrive and are pleased we can now offer shots to more people.”

To date vaccines have been reserved for healthcare workers, those in long-term care facilities, frontline essential workers and people 70 and older. Expanding eligibility to phase 1c allows those age 65 and above, people with high-risk medical conditions and essential workers to be vaccinated.

Essential workers are people in industries and occupations important to the functioning of society and at increased risk of exposure. This includes people who work in hotels and hospitality, food service, banking and finance, transportation, construction, media, logistics, information technology and more.

Hawai‘i’s weekly vaccine allotment from the federal government has gradually increased from about 40,000 doses a week in early February to more than 62,000 doses this week. This growth is expected to continue. However, phase 1c is the state’s largest vaccination group as outlined in the executive summary of the state’s vaccination plan and working through this phase will take a few months.

“We still do not have enough vaccines to get to everyone right away. Everyone will have the opportunity to be vaccinated but phase 1c is a very large proportion of the community, so we ask that people continue to be patient as the vaccination program continues to gain momentum,” Char said.

Registration opportunities for those 65 and older and others in phase 1c will soon be available through links posted on and from healthcare providers around the state.

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News Release from Hawaii DoH, Mar 12, 2021

HONOLULU- Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) Director Dr. Elizabeth Char provides detail on the state’s upcoming move to Phase 1c while appearing in a new DOH communication platform called The Weekly Dose.

Char also discusses the latest COVID-19 Weekly Cluster Report, which includes investigation into a “breakthrough” case of COVID-19 in a fully vaccinated Hawai‘i resident.

“The really important thing is that being vaccinated prevents us from serious illness, hospitalization, and death. That’s what we really need the vaccines to do for us,” Char said. “We have seen cases where people are fully vaccinated, and we have some cases in Hawai‘i now where people got vaccinated…traveled to the mainland, and we think they got ill on the mainland. Thankfully, their symptoms were very mild, which is exactly the protection the vaccine affords, but you can get infected with COVID.”

While discussing Phase 1c, which opens March 15, Char said those age 65 and older and those with one or more of a few specific chronic medical conditions are atop the list of those who should be vaccinated next.

Those who can make appointments immediately include:

  • Individuals age 65 and older
  • Individuals on dialysis
  • Individuals with severe respiratory disease who are on oxygen
  • Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or other infusion therapy

People with other chronic conditions also qualify for vaccine in Phase 1c, but not immediately. Data shows a correlation between medical conditions and age, so age will serve as a surrogate for many of these other chronic medical conditions. People with these chronic illnesses will be eligible for vaccine by age in descending order.

Essential workers not included in earlier phases are also part of Phase 1c. They will continue to register through employers.

“We will get to everybody. We are very happy that people want to get vaccinated. We look forward to vaccinating everyone who is interested,” Char said.

DOH also announced that on the week of March 15, 64,670 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are expected to arrive in Hawai‘i.

LINK: Click here to download video of Director Char discussing these updates

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