COVID Vaccine Clinic to Open for Kupuna at HMC

January 14, 2021, 10:08 AM HST (Updated January 14, 2021, 10:08 AM)
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Kupuna on the Big Island will have a chance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting next week.

The Pfizer vaccine will be offered to kupuna 75 years or older on Jan. 20 through Hilo Medical Center. On Jan. 25, individuals 65 years or older as well as other essential workers like teachers and postal workers will have a the opportunity to be inoculated.

“We have been intensely preparing to vaccinate our kupuna 75 and older,” said Dan Brinkman, East Hawai‘i Regional CEO at HMC. “Hilo Medical Center is committed to administering 1,000 doses per week, contingent on receiving regular resupply of vaccines.”

Over the last four weeks, HMC has vaccinated over 2,400 hospital and community healthcare employees and providers.

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“Hilo Medical Center is a part of the network of vaccination hubs set up to administer vaccines on Hawai‘i Island,” Brinkman said. “Our team has been working hard to do the right thing for our community.”

HMC will start vaccinating kupuna 75 years and older by appointment-only, starting Jan. 20 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Jan. 25, HMC will also host “Kupuna Hours” from 7-8 a.m., for kupuna who need additional support and do not have access to email or a computer.

Those interested in getting the vaccine must first register at www.hilomedicalcenter.org. According to a press release from HMC, those who registered will receive an email within two business days from the Centers for Disease Control’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS). The email providing instructions to complete the the registration on the agency’s website on how to select a vaccination site on Hawai‘i Island and schedule an appointment.

Those with scheduled appointments are asked to bring their government-issued ID and insurance cards on the day they’re set to receive the vaccine.

HMC has opened a helpline for assisting those signing up for the vaccination on the CDC VAMS website. Call 808-932-3000 and press 8 during regular business hours on Jan. 19.

“We realize that there will be a big rush to sign up for vaccinations and that appointments will be filled quickly,” Brinkman said. “Please help out our kupuna and have patience and understanding throughout this process. We are committed to vaccinating our community in a speedy, but orderly manner.”

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