Maui Coronavirus Updates

Initial 975 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Arrive in Hawai‘i

December 14, 2020, 4:17 PM HST
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File phot Thursday, Dec. 17 from exercise for vaccine arrival prep. PC: The Queen’s Health Systems

Gov. David Ige announced today Hawaiʻi’s first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu this morning. State officials say this initial delivery of 975 does of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine marks an important milestone in the ongoing effort to combat COVID-19 and return life to normal.

Delivery of the remaining 3,900 doses of Hawaiʻi’s prepositioning order is expected Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Almost 45,000 additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are expected to arrive in Hawaiʻi this month. Pending approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, as many as 36,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are expected by the end of the year.

Health care workers at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 and residents of long-term care facilities will be the first to receive the vaccine.

“It is gratifying to be able to offer the vaccine to health care workers who have sacrificed so much to protect all of us,” said Gov. David Ige. “The vaccine provides another important layer of protection to safeguard our kūpuna and others in long-term care facilities.”

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The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved after a rigorous review by the FDA. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup conducted a thorough and independent review of the federal process and unanimously concluded the vaccine is safe and effective.

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“The vaccine is a major tool in combating COVID-19, and it is critical we continue to use all the tools at our disposal,” said Department of Health Director Libby Char. “We still do not know whether a person who has been vaccinated can carry the virus and infect others. We do not know how long the vaccine will confer immunity. Until these questions are answered, we must continue to protect ourselves and the people we love by wearing face masks and physical distancing,” Char added.

Gov. Ige and Dr. Char expressed their gratitude to health care providers around the state for the critical role they play in vaccinating essential health care workers and others.

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