UHMC Vaccination Site Closes Early to “Maintain Safety and Order”
January 13, 2021, 1:27 PM HST
* Updated January 13, 2:18 PM
The University of Hawaiʻi Point of Distribution clinic for COVID-19 vaccines closed early today “in an effort to maintain safety and order,” according to planners with the Maui District Health Office, which is running the site.
Individuals with 1 p.m. appointments were asked to not come, and instead, await further information on the next date, which will be forthcoming. We received notification shortly after 12 p.m. that the gates at the UHMC clinic were closed prior to the planned 1 p.m. end time.
Planners extended apologies for any inconvenience and bearing with efforts to accommodate priority tiers.
The site had difficulties during their last clinic as well on Monday when an unexpected crowd showed up including those outside of the site’s priority grouping.
Today the site appeared to have the same problem, but had even more people show up than on Monday, some with no appointments, and approximately 400 people who were able to secure appointments, but do not qualify for vaccination at the site because it is a “closed POD (Point of Distribution)”.
The Maui District Health Office site at UHMC is still attempting to finish vaccinations for those in the 1A priority grouping (which includes frontline health care workers and long-term care facility residents in congregate settings). They also are vaccinating first responders.
We are told that the overflow is mostly from people who are intending to register at the Maui Health site, which is located at Maui Memorial Medical Center where the hospital had expanded services on Friday to accommodate requests from individuals in the IB priority grouping (which includes teachers, grocery store workers, and independent elderly residents 75 years and older, who were not connected to a congregate setting).
While the hospital is accepting appointments for 1B registrants, the Department of Health’s Maui District Health Office at the UHMC drive-in site is not currently open for this wider grouping.
Today’s crowd appeared to be compounded by additional providers and private physicians instructing those in the expanded categories of the ability to register for appointments. The larger groups have noted that when registering, individuals should select the Maui Health/hospital site for their vaccination and not UHMC.
Workers with the Maui District Health Office say less than half of the crowd at today’s clinic qualified for appointments in the closed POD, and anticipate completing approximately 800 total doses by the end of today when those already in the queue have completed their shots.