How quickly you get the COVID-19 vaccine could depend on your zip code

Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 at 1:58 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - When will you get a COVID-19 vaccine? It could depend not only on your placement in a priority group, but where you live.

That’s according to Hawaii health officials who say the pace at which different segments of the population get vaccinated is not going to be consistent across the state.

“Not everyone can move in lockstep. It’s not going to work,” said Hilton Raethel, head of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.

He said the approach is aimed at getting the most shots in arms ― as quickly as possible.

“The state has made it very clear. No one should slow down. Each region, each hospital, should work through the phases. Keep going and keep pushing forward,” Raethel said.

The state is seeing exactly that in places like Kauai, where nearly 500 educators got the shot Monday.

Raethel says Kaiser’s rollout is also moving quickly. The same, he said, goes for Adventist Health Castle.

After vaccinating frontline caregivers and first responders, Castle then moved on to people in the next phase, including educators and older kupuna.

“They had gone through essentially all of their 1a,” Raethel said. “Because they had the vaccine. The doses available. They opened up their 1b, which is entirely appropriate.”

In a statement, state Department of Health spokesperson Brooks Baehr said:

“Adventist Health Castle is offering online vaccination registration for residents age 75 and older who live in areas with Windward Oahu zip codes.”

The statement continued: “Movement through the various phases of the vaccination plan will vary from island to island due to population differences, operational considerations and available resources.”

Raethel noted that the different priority groups are not evenly distributed across the state.

“So there may be some communities that have a lot more kupuna and other regions that have a lot more teachers to give an example,” eh said.

The state is expected to make an announcement as early as Friday that will tell more essential workers and people over the age of 75 how to sign up for the shot.

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