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State to Lower Age Limit on Vaccine Eligibility ‘Soon’

February 19, 2021, 6:13 PM HST
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Vaccination eligibility is about to expand in Hawai‘i to a slightly younger demographic.

Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char on Friday announced that the state will soon open COVID-19 vaccinations to those 70 and older. Currently, kūpuna 75 and older are eligible to get vaccinated.

“We’re still in Phase 1B, and we’re not ready to go into Phase 1C yet. But soon, we’d like to welcome those 70 and older to get vaccinated. We know we still have kūpuna and frontline essential workers waiting to be vaccinated,” Dr. Char said. “We’ve been vaccinating kūpuna since about mid-January, and so we’d like to add in 70 and older to keep the uptake of vaccine really brisk.”

The Department of Health will announce when sites are prepared to accept registration for this new age group.

However, vaccine availability continues to be impacted by weather-related delays. A total of 27,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine originally expected the week of Feb. 15 are delayed because of ice storms on the mainland. DOH is awaiting news on when shipments will resume and when Moderna will send the backlogged doses. The state anticipates receiving more than 50,000 doses for the week of Feb. 22.

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