Hawaii tries to maintain vaccinations because the variety of circumstances will increase

The race to vaccinate Hawaiians against COVID-19 continues as the number of worrisome variants circulating in the islands climbs to 555 cases detected nationwide.

With state approval to resume use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Friday after an 11-day hiatus, the Department of Health expects it to happen soon, although an exact date has not yet been set.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine continues to be a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19,” DOH said in a statement. “Those who do not wish to wait for a Johnson & Johnson vaccine are encouraged to schedule a vaccine appointment for any of the other vaccine products as soon as possible.”

Federal health officials eventually decided that J & J’s one-off vaccine was vital in fighting the pandemic, the Associated Press reported, and that the risk of small clots could be treated with warnings to help younger women decide whether they use this or a shot alternative.

The DOH announced that the screening form for people who choose to receive the J&J vaccine and emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be updated. After the update, the department will resume J&J vaccinations.

At the last count, the state health department said it received about 47,600 doses of the J&J vaccine and administered about 17,800 doses in Hawaii, with the remainder in storage.

On Friday, DOH reported a new coronavirus-related death and 94 more infections across the state, bringing the state’s total to 477 deaths and 31,751 cases since the pandemic began.

The death was of a Maui man in his forties who had been hospitalized on the underlying conditions.

Of the new cases of infection, 74 were in Oahu, 11 in Maui, four in Hawaii, one in Molokai and four state-diagnosed Hawaii residents.

Nationwide, the seven-day average of the daily new cases on Friday was 80 with a positivity rate of 1.5%.

According to preliminary figures reported to the health department on Friday, a total of 1,118,905 COVID-19 vaccine doses have now been administered in the state, roughly 13,000 more than Thursday.

Hawaii was among the eight states where White House coronavirus advisor Andy Slavitt received a Twitter reputation for vaccinating more than 60% of adults with a first shot.

Vaccine appointments possible

On Monday, the state opened the right to vaccinate all residents aged 16 and over. Appointments have been booked, but are also available.

To help the students get vaccinated, the Iolani School, together with Safety, hosted a Pfizer pop-up vaccination clinic on campus on Friday and today and invited the surrounding community and schools to attend by appointment. Around 250 slots were available for today.

Hawaii Pacific Health said all appointments this week have been filled. However, as of Friday, HPH had 12,600 appointments open for its Pier 2 vaccination center next week. Appointments can be booked at hawaiipacifichealth.org/COVID19Vaccine.

This week Kaiser Permanente vaccinated teenagers accompanied by parents on the grounds of the Kapolei Consolidated Theater.

Kaiser said there are still hundreds of Moderna vaccination appointments (for people aged 18 and over) in Kapolei today and Pfizer vaccination appointments (for people aged 16 and over) next week. Appointments can be booked in advance at kp.org/covidvaccine.

Growth in Variants

However, as the vaccinations begin, Hawaii is also seeing an increase in the number of worrisome variants.

In the past two weeks, the health department announced that an additional 209 cases of variants had been discovered, bringing the total to 555 nationwide.

Five different variants have been found in the state, with the largest proportion being so-called California variants, including B1.429 and B.1.427.

Both have the L452R mutation, which has been linked to outbreaks in Santa Clara as well as Los Angeles counties, and are known as California variants, which are more transmissible.

According to reigning state epidemiologist Sarah Kemble, the California variants are the predominant tribe on Maui today. B1.429 now makes up 82% of all stem sequences on the Valley Isle.

This is the strain health officials have seen in many of the clusters studied on Maui, she said.

Among the clusters currently being examined are five with 41 cases tied to the educational environment, according to Thursday’s report. 11 with 154 cases related to travel, accommodation, and tourism; and one to a grocer with 18 cases.

“We also see that the vaccine appears to be effective even for those exposed to this strain,” said Kemble.

Nationwide there are 454 cases of the California variants, mainly B.1429, followed by 86 of the B.1.1.7 or UK variant, eight of the B.1.351 or South African variant and seven of the P.1 or Brazilian variant.

Oahu has the most of these worrying cases with 251, followed by Maui with 215, Hawaii County with 33, and Kauai County with six.

Another 50 variant cases, including 32 of the British variant, are listed with unknown countries of origin.

The Ministry of Health’s laboratory division began genome sequencing in June and is examining about 75 samples a week across the country.

Variants of Concern in Hawaii

Oahu (Honolulu County)

>> B. 1.429 or Californian variant, 184

>> B.1.427, also California, 21

>> B.1.1.7 or UK, 35

>> B.1.351 or South African, 7

>> P.1 or Brazilian, 4

Total Oahu cases with worrying variants: 251

Maui County

>> B. 1.429 or California, 207

>> B. 1.427, also California, 0

>> B.1.1.7 or UK, 6

>> B.1.351 or South African, 0

>> P.1 or Brazilian, 2

Total Maui cases with worrying variants: 215

Hawaii County

>> B. 1.429 or California, 19

>> B.1.427, also California, 2

>> B.1.1.7 or UK, 12

>> B.1.351 or South African, 0

>> P.1 or Brazilian, 0

Total Hawaii cases with worrying variants: 33

Kauai County

>> B. 1.429 or California, 5

>> B. 1.427, also California, 0

>> B.1.1.7 or UK, 1

>> B.1.351 or South African, 0

>> P.1 or Brazilian, 0

Total Kauai cases with worrying variants: 6

Unknown origin

>> B.1.429 or California, 14

>> B.1.427, also California, 2

>> B.1.1.7 or UK, 32

>> B.1.351 or South African, 1

>> P.1 or Brazilian, 1

Total cases of unknown origin: 50

Source: Ministry of Health

Comments are closed.