20% of Honolulu’s first responders get coronavirus vaccine

HONOLULU — Roughly 20% of Honolulu’s 4,500 first responders have received the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, city officials said.

Hiro Toiya, the city’s emergency management director, said that 936 first responders received their shots Tuesday and Wednesday. Honolulu Police Department officers represented 649 of the vaccines, 173 vaccines were given to firefighters with the Honolulu Fire Department and 114 vaccines were distributed to paramedics, emergency medical technicians and lifeguards with the Department of Emergency Services.

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Between 60% to 70% of first responders are expected to receive the voluntary coronavirus vaccine, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

“It’s the best Christmas present we could give to ourselves, to our island, to our state, to our country and to the world and this planet,” Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. “And the City and County of Honolulu has made a commitment to get all of its first responders vaccinated, if they want to be vaccinated.”

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Caldwell said he would not receive the vaccine with the state’s first responders. The mayor said he would wait his turn and stand in line with other seniors after his term runs out in a few weeks.

Police Chief Susan Ballard, Fire Chief Manuel Neves and Emergency Services Director Jim Howe were all vaccinated as first responders this week.

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