“We’re going to be in the first responder’s category, we’re going to be in a lot of those areas already,” co-lead Sheri Daniels told KHON2. “But how do we make sure for those that maybe aren’t? Where can we make sure they’re in? And that’s probably going to come in the middle of it if we’re going to try to have some say in it.”
Hawaii’s vaccine distribution plan has three phases. In Phase 1, doses will be given to healthcare workers, first responders, and employees and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 2 will provide vaccines to “critical populations not included in Phase 1,” while Phase 3 will be for the general public, according to Hawaii News Now.
In a press conference on Dec. 10, Hawaii Gov. David Ige and other officials detailed the Health Department’s plan to acquire and distribute a vaccine as soon as the federal government approves one. The next day, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use nationwide.
On Monday, Ige announced the arrival of 975 doses of the vaccine, along with 3,900 more expected on Wednesday. About 45,000 additional doses are set to arrive this month, as well as 36,000 of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine pending approval.
“The vaccine is a major tool in combating COVID-19, and it is critical we continue to use all the tools at our disposal,” said Health Department Director Libby Char. “We still do not know whether a person who has been vaccinated can carry the virus and infect others. We do not know how long the vaccine will confer immunity. Until these questions are answered, we must continue to protect ourselves and the people we love by wearing face masks and physical distancing.”
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