Spreading the word: Vaccination outreach effort hits Kona neighborhoods; clinic set for Saturday

  • Public Health nurse Linda McLaughlin passes out information about Saturday’s vaccination clinic at Kealakehe Intermediate School to Elizabeth Martin and Jim Hutzelman Thursday at their Queen Liliuokalani Village home. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

A dedicated group of individuals led by the Department of Health has been spreading the word about an upcoming vaccination clinic in Kona by pounding the pavement and knocking on doors.

Thursday marked the group’s fifth community outreach effort to inform residents about Saturday’s clinic at Kealakehe Intermediate School. The outreach workers, including interpreters and members of the Medical Reserve Corps, canvassed the entire Kealakehe neighborhood, Queen Liliuokalani Village and Coastview/Wonderview subdivisions handing out flyers and encouraging residents 18 years of age and older to attend the free clinic. They also distributed disposable masks and emergency preparedness brochures for the upcoming hurricane season.


“We are spreading the word, going house to house answering questions and educating residents,” said Public Health Nurse Linda McLaughlin.

The decision was made to hold the clinic on Saturday because there are many people who cannot attend the Monday through Friday clinics because of work.

Although no appointment is necessary for the Saturday clinic, workers were registering interested individuals on the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS). If no one was home when visiting a residence, a flyer was left on the door encouraging participation in the vaccination effort and visiting www.hawaiicovid19.com or calling (808) 300-1120 to register. Some 500 vaccines will be available at the clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

DOH will be using the Moderna vaccine for this clinic, with a second dose scheduled for June 12. Participants are asked to bring a photo ID and must be age 18 or older.

As mega clinics are slowing down, the Department of Health is looking to hold neighborhood clinics in the future. The clinics at Kekuaokalani Gym, hosted by the department, Kona Community Hospital and West Hawaii Community Health Center with support from the Hawaii National Guard, Civil Defense and county parks and recreation staff last week reached 26,000 dosed administered.


The department is still holding its Wednesday clinic at Kekuaokalani Gym. On May 19 and 26 they will be administering the single dose Johnson &Johnson vaccine.

In June, the department will be shifting clinic operations to the second and fourth Thursday of the month at Makaeo Pavilion. For those clinics, the department will offer the two-dose Moderna vaccine.

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