Efforts are increasing to achieve these in Hawaii who will not be vaccinated towards COVID-19

The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center takes a hands-on approach to helping local residents get vaccinated.

The center offers free COVID-19 vaccination clinics at schools in the area, including Waianae High and Intermediate Schools and Nanakuli High and Intermediate School, and reaches out to local homeless camps to provide them with on-site vaccinations.

On Wednesday, the center hosted another clinic at Waianae Intermediate School to give second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the community.

“We have very good participation in the schools,” said Dr. Vija Sehgal, Chief Quality Officer and Director of Pediatrics at WCCHC. “We had a lot of interest, over 350 students so far, and these were children who absolutely wanted to be vaccinated. The next step is those who need to be convinced. “

Part of the center’s strategy is to encourage each student to text five friends about the vaccination. The center has also set up an “Instagram Photo Booth” in the clinic for those who want to take selfies after vaccination and share them on their own personal social media.

In the zip code of 96792, which represents Waianae, 35% of the population have been fully vaccinated, while 45% have started COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the State Department of Health’s dashboard.

Prices are the same in Kapolei, as are the zip codes on the north coast of Oahu, including Waialua, Haleiwa, and Kahuku.

According to Sehgal, the WCCHC started it off and was one of the first in the state to partner with the state Department of Education to vaccinate teachers and staff.

Jake Schafer, the center’s director of infection control and staff health, said there had been two spikes in COVID-19 cases on the Waianae coast, similar to national trends, but now they are declining.

“We are approaching 12,000 administered vaccines, which we are very proud of, especially because we are not a queen, not an emperor, we are not a huge hospital,” said Schäfer. “We are a community health center. We are very proud of this number and what our team has achieved. “

The focus is now on reaching those who are still on the fence to get vaccinated, and the center is shifting from larger to smaller vaccination clinics with more targeted reach.

This week the center is rolling out vaccination clinics at satellite locations like Nanakuli, Makaha, Kapolei and Waipahu, Schafer said.

This month, the center is also offering a Makeke $ 5 Gift Certificate to anyone 18 and over who shows their vaccination card for use at the farmers’ markets.

Schafer said the center is also seeking funds to launch its own community pricing and incentive program and conduct a survey to find out the reasons behind the reluctance to vaccinate.

Leina Kanana, the center’s community health services director, said the public outreach efforts for the homeless population in the area will continue, from the coast to the inland valleys and parks.

She says it is more hesitation than access that is a hurdle to increasing vaccination numbers.

“It’s the ‘wait and see, you go first, I’ll give him a few more months,” she said, “and we see that across the board with all demographics.”

Getting the vaccinations straight to the campsites seems to be working, even if a clinic might be right next door.

An outreach team also went to Waianae Small Boat Harbor on Wednesday to follow up on vaccinations after previous visits, she said. Some were vaccinated by the Vision Hawaii nonprofit project.

More interested in seeing roommates get the vaccine, she said. About half of 200 who live at the boat harbor are now vaccinated against COVID-19. The campsite manager often plays a crucial role – if he is vaccinated, others will also be vaccinated.

“It’s a community there,” she said. “A very close community.”

Sehgal said community partnerships, including those with school principals in Waianae, played a key role in the vaccination effort.

“People hesitate for a number of reasons, and there is no one size fits all,” she said. “Everyone has their own personal reasons why they don’t want to be vaccinated yet.”

Sometimes she has seen teenagers convince their parents to get vaccinated. Many people still have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, she said, and “it’s our job to find out what those questions are and try to answer them.”

“We may never convince some of them, but I think we can hack away and convince them that it’s safe and effective,” she said. “The more people get vaccinated and the more the numbers rise, the more people believe in science.”

It is encouraging to see more people in the clinics who have changed their minds after their friends, relatives and ohana were vaccinated.

The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center also offers a COVID-19 hotline and drive-through testing, as well as community support programs. Further vaccination clinics are planned at the schools in July.

On Friday, the state Department of Health reported a total of 1,637,582 doses in the state, with 56% completing vaccinations and 61% initiating vaccinations.

The state is also continuing its #higotvaccinated-incentive campaign, which will give all adult Hawaiian residents vaccinated by June 30th the opportunity to sign up for prize draws, including round-trip tickets, gift cards, and food.

Free COVID-19 vaccinations

>> WHERE: Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, 86-260 Farrington Highway, adult medicine building and pharmacy

>> WHEN: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday

>> Call 427-3659 to make an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome on the main campus.

>> Visit wcchc.com/COVID19/Vaccinations to learn more.

>> Vaccines are available for patients and non-patients aged 12 and over. (Parents / legal guardians require parental consent for people aged 12 to 17.)

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