State plans to operate mass vaccination centers on Oahu

HONOLULU — Thousands of Hawaii residents are expected to have access to COVID-19 vaccines when the state opens mass vaccination centers on Oahu, officials said.

The state plans to begin providing vaccinations beginning Monday at Honolulu’s Pier 2 in partnership with Hawaii Pacific Health, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

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Hawaii Pacific Health is the parent of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women &Children, Straub Medical Center, Pali Momi Medical Center and Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai.

The Queen’s Medical Center announced plans to operate a second large-scale vaccination clinic in the final week of January at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu with an initial goal of administering 2,500 to 3,000 doses daily.

Health officials hope to administer up to 100,000 vaccine shots this month and up to 150,000 doses monthly in February, March, April and May, Democratic Lt. Gov. Josh Green said.

Democratic House Speaker Scott Saiki, however, said Tuesday night that plans for the vaccination centers were not final because contracts had not been executed.

Hawaii Public Radio reported via Twitter that Saiki said Green made premature announcements and “disseminated unconfirmed information.

More significantly, he misinformed elders who have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to be vaccinated.”

There were 26,000 vaccine doses administered in Hawaii in December. As of Monday, nearly 39,000 residents had been vaccinated and 109,250 doses were delivered by drug makers Pfizer and Moderna. The Hawaii Department of Health said tens of thousands of additional vaccine doses are expected to ship this week.

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Queen’s Medical Center President Jason Chang said online registration for the planned centers should make the process fast and efficient.

“Ideally, you’d like to get through more people, but we want to be safe and cautious to start,” Chang said.

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