Big Island Coronavirus Updates

More than 20K COVID Vaccines Expected in Hawai‘i This Week

December 29, 2020, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated December 28, 9:56 PM
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ICU Nurse Isabel Kang shows off her vaccine sticker after receiving her shot Wednesday. (PC: Tiffany DeMasters)

Thousands of new COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Hawai‘i Monday, with several thousand more expected in short order.

First reported by Hawai‘i News Now, a shipment of 10,900 Moderna-produced coronavirus vaccines were delivered to the state yesterday. Health officials will ship 5,700 doses to the neighbor islands, while 5,200 will head to O‘ahu. Another 12,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer are expected to arrive in Hawai‘i soon.

So far, just shy of 50,000 doses have been shipped to providers throughout the state. All told, the government is projecting the two drug companies will combine to ship roughly 61,000 doses to the islands by the end of the month. That’s around 20,000 fewer than the total the state initially projected.

How quickly Hawai‘i imports the vaccine and how quickly it can be provided to residents are two different things. As of Monday, health officials statewide had administered approximately 14,000 doses of one vaccine or the other, mostly to healthcare workers. Both vaccines require two doses several weeks apart to reach full effectiveness. Each company said their respective studies showed vaccine effectiveness rates to be around 95%.

Side effects of taking the shot have been observed, the most frequent of which are pain at the injection site and headaches. Mild fever and muscle pains have also been noted.

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HNN reported Monday that one individual on O‘ahu suffered an allergic reaction to the vaccine, and that the patient in question had experienced similar symptoms following the administration of separate vaccines in the past. This was the only report of such a reaction to the vaccine anywhere in Hawai‘i as of Monday.

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