Kona hospital receives COVID-19 vaccines

  • Sarah Wagner, pharmacy tech, Lisa Downing, infection prevention director, Emily Krug, pharmacy director and Kona Community Hospital CEO Jim Lee pose with a shipment of COVID-19 vaccine received Monday. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Emily Krug, pharmacy director and Kona Community Hospital CEO Jim Lee pose with a shipment of COVID-19 vaccine received Monday. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

COVID-19 vaccines arrived Monday in West Hawaii.

Two direct shipments, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna, arrived Monday at Kona Community Hospital, the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) facility said in a prepared statement.

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The 975 doses of Pfizer vaccine will be made available for those West Hawaii Region employees who want to receive the vaccine, including those at Kona Community Hospital, Kohala Hospital, the Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center and affiliated staff at Alii Health Center.

HHSC anticipates 700 of its staffers will be vaccinated, including 500 at Kona Community Hospital alone.

Kona Community Hospital’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic will go live on Wednesday. Employees and affiliated staff are currently being registered into the electronic record Vaccine Administration Management System. VAMS is a nationwide secure web-based tool will help jurisdictions, clinics, employers and vaccine recipients manage COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

The Moderna vaccine was received on behalf of the state Department of Health. This vaccine, which does not need ultra-cold storage was to be moved to the DOH district office later Monday.

“We are very excited about receiving these vaccine shipments, and look forward to vaccinating front line staff,” said Jim Lee, West Hawaii Region and KCH CEO. “We are working closely with the Hawaii Department of Health at state and local levels, as well as Healthcare Association of Hawaii to roll out vaccinations as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile Monday, Hawaii Island’s COVID-19 case count increased by 13, bringing the island’s total case count to 1,816.

The new Hawaii Island cases were among 134 new cases reported across the state by the Department of Health bringing the total case tally to 20,351 since Feb. 28. Oahu reported 104 new cases while Maui County reported 14 and Kauai one. Three residents were diagnosed while outside the state.

Hawaii County has a 1.8% test positivity rate, under the statewide rate of 2.8%.

Statewide, 60 people were hospitalized Monday, including four on Hawaii Island. To date, 1,655 people have required hospitalization, including 94 on Hawaii Island.

No new coronavirus-related deaths were reported Monday by the state.

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Of the 282 coronavirus-related deaths confirmed and reported by the state to date, 218 were on Oahu, 17 were on Maui, 44 were on Hawaii Island and one on Kauai. Three deaths were among residents outside the state.

Hawaii County Civil Defense has reported 50 deaths on the island. The state has yet to confirm six of the deaths reported to date on Hawaii Island.

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