If you haven’t received your COVID-19 vaccination yet, there may be a handy walk-in clinic near you soon.
The community responded well on Thursday to the resumption of use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the Department of Health after a nationwide hiatus by federal agencies. At the Windward Community College vaccination clinic, 365 people received a single dose, some by appointment and some accessible. And Minit Medical has 300 appointments for the J&J vaccine in Kahului.
The Hawaii Public Housing Authority has partnered with other government agencies and private and nonprofit partners to target vulnerable, hard-to-reach populations.
On Thursday, Kaiser Permanente administered the Pfizer vaccine at a free walk-in pop-up clinic for residents and the community in the towers in Kuhio Park in Kalihi.
About 500 cans were available.
People aged 16 and over can get the vaccine. However, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for use in people under the age of 18.
Health insurance is not required.
Elina Kanaka’ole was one of the first in line at the Kalihi site who had waited for a vaccine but never had the time to get one.
Kanaka’ole, 33, and a working mother of four, said this was finally an opportunity for her. With children aged 3 months, 2, 3, and 7 years old and a night job, it was difficult to make it to any of the vaccination centers in town.
She managed to do it after dropping kids off at Head Start and school and her parents watching the baby.
“It’s so much more convenient,” she said. “I don’t have to take all of my children with me. Hard to find the time or a babysitter. “
Kanaka’ole said she wanted to get the vaccine – once she got her doctor’s approval for breastfeeding her baby – to protect her parents and family. They live in a confined space and children often play together in the community.
After Kanaka’ole received the shot, she said she was relieved.
Hakim Ouansafi, Executive Director of HPHA, said, “Since the pandemic began, we have started door-to-door contacting, training and testing. Now we are continuing our collaboration to provide safe and convenient on-site COVID-19 vaccination clinics for our public housing communities, our surrounding neighbors, and the general public.
“We’re really grateful to be working with all of our community partners to bring COVID-19 vaccination clinics directly to the most vulnerable populations we serve.”
The next clinics take place on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Waianae Protestant Church and on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Kamehameha Homes.
And Hawaii Pacific Health will be extending its hours of operation from May 3rd to May 8th, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. Appointments can still be scheduled from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 2,000 appointments per day. To plan online, go to HawaiiPacificHealth.org/COVID19Vaccine.
Walk-ins are for primary vaccinations only.
Oahu residents 16 and over are eligible but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
The J&J vaccine is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 13 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the WCC walk-in clinic.
Minit Medical will continue vaccination clinics with the J&J vaccine in Kahului today at the War Memorial Gym and another Saturday in Makawao at the Hannibal Tavares Mayor’s Center.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have taken an 11-day hiatus to investigate the risk of blood clots in people who received it.
The hiatus was lifted on April 12 after the vaccine was found to be safe, effective, and very low risk in preventing COVID-19. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh any risks, according to the health department.
The break came after six women who were vaccinated with the J&J vaccine in the United States developed a rare blood clot with low platelets. That rate was 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between the ages of 18 and 49, the CDC said. The incidence in women 50 years and over and men of all ages is even lower.
Women under 50 should be aware of the increased risk of this rare blood clot, according to the CDC.
Anyone receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should see a doctor immediately if they experience symptoms within 13 days of receiving it. These include severe or persistent headache or blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, and easy bruising or tiny blood stains under the skin beyond the injection site.
As of Tuesday, 1,191,481 vaccines had been administered nationwide.
State health officials said Thursday a new coronavirus-related death was that of a Kauai woman in her seventies who had health problems when she was hospitalized with COVID-19.
In addition, the Ministry of Health reported 122 more infections nationwide, bringing the state’s total number to 483 deaths and 32,232 cases since the pandemic began.
The US coronavirus death toll was more than 574,000 as of Thursday and the nationwide infection rate was over 32.3 million.
The new statewide cases of infection on Thursday include 79 in Oahu, six in Kauai, 26 in Maui, four in Hawaii and seven outside of the state Hawaii residents, according to health officials.
Hawaii has 1,116 active cases. Oahu has 826 active cases; Maui, 187; Hawaii Island, 69; Kauai, 32; Molokai has two; and Lanai doesn’t have any.