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Maui Memorial says postponing 5,000 appointments after supply drop a “huge disappointment”

Vaccines have been received on the islands of Hawaii, Molokai, Maui and Kauai.
Vaccines have been received on the islands of Hawaii, Molokai, Maui and Kauai.(HNN)
Updated: Jan. 19, 2021 at 5:22 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui Memorial Medical Center says it had to postpone thousands of vaccine appointments for three weeks because of a drop in supply. There’s an urgency to get as many shots in arms as possible that’s why Maui Memorial says it was a huge disappointment to postpone thousands of appointments for the first dose.

Maui Memorial Medical Center had been giving 700 vaccinations per day. Now that’s been reduced to 100 to 200 per day and only for those who are getting their 2nd shot.

Anyone who had an appointment for a first dose has been postponed and it’s not known when it can be rescheduled

“Unfortunately we are receiving much less of the vaccine so much less that we have to stop doing all vaccinations for the first shot,” said Michael Rembis, Maui Health CEO.

“It’s been changing every single week. The state has been getting less vaccine every single week for the past three weeks,” he added.

Maui Health says this impacts roughly 5,000 kupuna and frontline workers who got first dose appointments and are now postponed.

“I think it’s been a huge disappointment. I’ve been talking to our kupuna and for the kupuna over 75, it’s very sad. They were so excited to get the vaccine and get some relief and now they’re are so disappointed,” said Rembis.

“I think there’s a lot of people at fault. You can start with the federal government and the supply chain going down to the states,” he added.

Health director Dr. Libby Char says the state is not holding on to any vaccine that comes from the federal government and it’s making sure all islands are treated equally.

“I think they (Maui) were expecting more vaccine. We gave out the entire allocation that we have and there’s no other vaccine we can give them. We are waiting for the federal government to send us more vaccine,” said Char.

“I don’t blame anyone at the state. I think we could do a better job, communication, distributing and allocating,” he added.

Maui Memorial says 5,600 appointments are still scheduled for a second dose. The hospital says if you signed up to register for a vaccine or had an appointment that was postponed, the hospital will contact you about scheduling.

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