About two in five Hawaiian residents are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, exposing them to the highly contagious Delta variant found on all major islands.
The state health department reported two new coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, and nationwide cases rose 68.4%, with 64 new cases, up from 38 the previous day. In the last 14 days alone, 562 cases have been reported.
The surge is just as the state is loosening travel restrictions and restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings on July 8, when the nationwide vaccination rate is expected to reach 60%.
The percentage of residents fully vaccinated is increasing to 57.2%, the Department of Health reported Saturday, with an additional 3,973 doses being given for a total of 1,665,945 doses.
STATE HEALTH officials continue to plead and persuade the 43% of the unvaccinated population to get the vaccination before the Delta variant takes hold in Hawaii as Hawaii continues to expand the community as travelers, including returning residents, unwittingly take them to the state of Aloha wear.
In a groundbreaking case, a vaccinated Oahu resident contracted the Delta variant in Nevada in early May but had a negative COVID-19 test before flying back, the Department of Health reported. A total of 13 cases have been reported – nine in Oahu, two in Maui, and one each in Kauai and Hawaii.
Genome sequencing performed by the Department of Health three weeks ago also suggests the Delta variant is spreading across the community, and health officials say it will become the dominant variant in Hawaii within a month. The sample of 45 cases showed that a fifth of them were infected with the variant.
Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to have the injection until autumn. Those with weakened immune systems include those who are undergoing cancer treatment and dialysis, those with diabetes and kidney disease, smokers, those who have had organ or bone marrow transplants, and those who have been taking corticosteroids for long periods of time.
IN THE US, the variant doubled in two weeks, affecting one in five. The variant from India increases rapidly in largely unvaccinated populations. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that it is likely to become the dominant variety in the US
Today the Hawaii Pacific Health COVID-19 Vax Squad bus is due to be parked at the main entrance in front of the ticket counters of the Aloha Stadium. The Vax Squad offers free vaccinations from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Vax Squad gave free vaccinations at the Honolulu Zoo on Saturday. Those with confirmed dates got free entry to the zoo and could win prizes ranging from gift cards to gym memberships.
The clinic was a partnership between HPH, the city and the Ministry of Health.
For more information on COVID-19 from the Department of Health, including incentives, visit hawaiicovid19.com.