Big Island Coronavirus Updates

First Responders Receive COVID Vaccine in Hilo

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Big Island first responders received COVID-19 vaccinations for the first time on Dec. 23, 2020, in Hilo. PC: Hawaii County

The initial group of Big Island first responders to receive the coronavirus vaccine did so Wednesday morning in Hilo.

Hawaiʻi State Department of Health officials administered the first round of vaccinations at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. An estimated 200 first responders received a vaccination.

Vaccinations were administered via a two lane drive-thru to adhere to county and state social distancing orders and mandates. A second round of first responder vaccinations is planned for the Kona district tomorrow.


The preliminary vaccination of first responders follows “Phase 1a” of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, giving preference to those whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure to COVID‐19.

“It is a relief to know that we are doing all we can to better protect our first responders from the threat of COVID-19”, said Mayor Mitch Roth. “The bravery and honor that they have exhibited over the course of the past year has been a true testament to their commitment of ensuring the health and safety of our community. Although there will be a follow-up booster shot required before the vaccine is considered fully administered, this is a phenomenal first step in protecting our communities and ridding our county, our state, and our country of the virus once and for all.”


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