Officials: Feds shuffle vaccine delivery dates, but Hawaii’s allotment has not been cut

Updated: Dec. 19, 2020 at 12:27 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As hospitals across the country race to vaccinate front line workers, government agencies are reporting that some shipments of the coronavirus vaccine are being cut.

Officials in at least 10 states say they’re getting fewer doses than expected next week, and some deliveries will shrink by about 40 percent.

In Hawaii, healthcare officials confirmed the dates the vaccines are supposed to arrive have been shuffled around. But the state’s still on track to receive the 81,000 vaccines it was expecting this month, a spokesperson said.

Since the state’s mass COVID-19 vaccination effort got underway at the Queen’s Medical Center Tuesday, thousands of healthcare workers on Oahu have gotten the shot.

And according to Lt. Governor Josh Green, there have been no reports of anyone suffering adverse affects.

“The first shot appears to cause a little ache, like most flu shots in the arm,” he said.

Next week, officials are expecting two more shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, totaling around 16,000 doses. But exactly when they’ll touch down on Oahu isn’t clear.

“The schedules have changed, and the time frames have changed, but we are still receiving in total the same number of doses,” said Hilton Raethel.

Raethel, the head of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, says much of the new shipment will be sent to the neighbor islands, saying vials of the vaccine are expected to be in every hospital in the state by next week.

“We are absolutely still on track to be able to vaccinate all of our healthcare workers by the end of the year,” said Raethel.

That’s possible because of the newly approved Moderna vaccine. The FDA just cleared its use Friday afternoon.

“And they’ll start shipping just like Pfizer did,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

Hawaii is slated to received 36,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine before the end of the year. Green says it’ll be used to inoculate residents in long-term care facilities. The effort will begin as early as December 28.

“Realistically, I think anyone who wants to get the vaccine will be able to get it in the first six to eight months,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

Because this roll out is in its infancy officials are asking for patience ― reminding people things can change and that the timeline is not set in stone.

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