Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Additional Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccines Arrived in State

December 16, 2020, 4:06 PM HST
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COVID-19 vaccine shipment arrival on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. (PC: Kaiser Permanente)

Hawai‘i received another shipment of COVID-19 vaccines today. The Hawai‘i Department of Health received 3,900 doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech.

The cargo was distributed to Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children, Straub Medical Center, Pali Momi Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Queen’s Medical Center West O‘ahu and the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. These medical facilities will administer the vaccines to their employees and other health care workers in their communities.

“These vaccines will be tremendously important to our recovery,” said Health Director Elizabeth Char. “Their delivery is significant and our partnerships with the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i, hospitals statewide, and the counties have cleared the way for efficient distribution of these first shipments and future supplies of vaccine.”

The collaboration and community support, Char added, is the key to administering the vaccines safely and effectively.

“People at high risk of infection are at the front of the line,” she said. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through that line as quickly and securely as possible.”

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The first shipment of vaccines arrived on O‘ahu on Monday. This latest shipment represents the balance of the 4,875 doses in Hawai‘i’s prepositioning order.

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DOH has requested an additional 7,800 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Delivery of that order is expected next week. DOH is optimistic it will receive 45,825 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before the end of the year.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting is scheduled to meet Thursday. That committee will make a recommendation to the FDA on issuing an emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine.

DOH has placed a prepositioning order of 12,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. Shipment is subject to the FDA issuing the emergency use authorization.

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Hawai‘i can anticipate delivery of as many as 36,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine this year if the vaccine receives federal authorization.

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