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Vaccine availability expanding

LIHU‘E — The state Department of Health announced Thursday the state will extend COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people ages 60 and older starting today.

“We are closely monitoring current and projected vaccination numbers, appointment availability and, most importantly, the amount of vaccine allocated to the people of Hawai‘i,” said DOH Director Dr. Libby Char in the announcement. “Our analysis of these indicators tells us it is time to expland vaccine eligibility to more people.”

Lihu‘e Pharmacy is the latest site addition to the clinic network on Kaua‘i, joining Wilcox Medical Center, the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Kaua‘i Region including Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea and Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital in Kapa‘a, the DOH site at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e, and the CVS Longs Drugs in Kapa‘a, Koloa and ‘Ele‘ele.

“We worked with the Department of Health, and had to push hard,” said Pharmacist Kyren Ishikawa. “But we were finally approved, and we administered our first shots on March 17.”

Similar to the network of clinics, patrons need to have appointments for the Moderna vaccines that are administered on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lihu‘e Pharmacy on Kolopa Street, near Servco Kaua‘i in the Kukui Grove West complex.

“We hope to expand shortly,” Ishikawa said. “But for now, the clinic will be on Wednesday and Thursday.”

Appointments for vaccines at Lihu‘e Pharmacy may be made by calling any one of the three pharmacies.

“Patients can call any of the three pharmacies and we’ll make the appointment,” Ishikawa said. “But the vaccines will only be done here at the pharmacy located adjacent to the State Farm Insurance office.”

Phone numbers for appointments include the Lihu‘e Pharmacy on Kolopa Street, 246-9100, the Lihu‘e Professional Pharmacy on Kuhio Highway at 245-3800, and the Lihu‘e Clinic Pharmacy on Elua Street at 246-6900.

Kevin Glick of Lihu‘e Pharmacy said, “We’ll be here as long as we’re needed.”

Wilcox Medical Center marked a milestone Friday when it administered its 10,000th dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are extremely proud to celebrate this important milestone today and to help contribute to Kaua‘i’s vaccination efforts, as we lead the state in the percent of our population who have been vaccinated,” said Jen H. Chahanovich, president and CEO of Wilcox Medical Center and CEO of Kaua‘i Medical Clinic.

“We have made incredible progress over the last few months, and will continue to work closely with our health-care partners to immunize our community as the vaccine is made available to more residents.”

Wilcox started administering vaccines on Dec. 21, starting with health-care workers at its facilities, Wilcox Medical Center and Kaua‘i Medical Clinic. The recipients of the 10,000 doses included independent health-care providers, kupuna ages 60 and older, those ages 16 and above with high-risk health conditions and other essential workers identified in Phase 1a, 1b and 1c of the state’s vaccination plan.

Qualifying individuals can schedule their appointments online for Wilcox at wilcoxhealth.org/vaccine; for the HHSC hospitals at kauaihhsc.org, for the CVS Longs Drugs at cvs.com, and the DOH distribution at kauai.gov, and via the phone numbers for Lihu‘e Pharmacy.
Source: The Garden Island

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