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KTA to Offer COVID Vaccinations at In-Store Pharmacies

February 3, 2021, 2:47 PM HST
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KTA Puainako store, front entrance 2015. KTA Super Stores file courtesy photo.

KTA Super Stores pharmacies are now offering in-store coronavirus vaccinations to kūpuna.

In an effort to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines on the Big Island, KTA Super Stores are adding more opportunities for community members aged 75 and up to receive the shot and will begin administering the vaccine at its four in-store pharmacy locations at Puainako, Waimea, Keauhou, and Waikoloa.

The Moderna vaccines will be offered by appointment only. To register for the vaccination program, eligible citizens (those 75+) can call the pharmacy department at their local KTA pharmacy (choose option 6). There they will be able to leave their information and will receive a call back to schedule an appointment.

Appointments will be scheduled in the order in which the initial call was received. In addition to the appointment line, those eligible community members with internet access will soon be able to self-register through a form on KTA’s Pharmacy website. KTA encourages those who can register via the website form to do so, in order to alleviate some of the call volume at the stores.

During the appointments, vaccine recipients and their companions must adhere to social distancing and masking protocols. In addition, every recipient will be required to stay at the pharmacy for a minimum 15-minute observation period after they receive the vaccination. Patients should bring a form of ID and insurance card, if they have one.

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“We are really excited to be able to offer these in-store vaccinations at our KTA pharmacies. Our goal is to get everyone taken care of as safely and quickly as possible. That said, it is a process, and we ask that everyone be patient, both with scheduling and at their appointments,” said KTA Super Stores Director of Pharmacy, Kerri Okamura, R.Ph.

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KTA has been active in vaccination efforts since they began. Patients in adult residential care homes and adult foster care homes have been receiving the vaccination via in-home visits and drive-thru clinics hosted by KTA. In addition, KTA has partnered with Big Island Docs to help vaccinate their patients in weekend clinics.

“I’ve never seen people so happy to get a vaccination,” Okamura said. “At a recent clinic, one of our patients was tearing up because she was so happy that she was getting her vaccination. The sheer joy and relief that our kūpuna have expressed has been the most heartwarming part of this effort.”

In-store vaccinations will continue to ramp up as the state continues to distribute the vaccine to varying populations.

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