Hundreds seen in soft launch of Oahu’s second mass COVID vaccination site

Preparations underway to launch second mass vaccination site at the Blaisdell Center

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Blaisdell Concert Hall is ready to serve as a COVID-19 mass vaccination site — the second established so far on Oahu.

Check-in tables, socially-distanced waiting areas and signs guiding patients from point A to point B have all been set up in the venue, which before the pandemic housed Broadway productions and featured concerts for performing arts lovers.

The new vaccination clinic will open Monday for those 75 and older.

Ahead of that, health officials held a soft launch Saturday to ensure the process runs smoothly for those coming to get the shot.

About 500 people who made appointments to participate got their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

A 91-year-old woman was the first person to get her vaccine Saturday morning, and encouraged others to consider getting it when they’re eligible.

“Everyone should receive the vaccination, not only 75 and up because the younger people, they (are more social) and that will make the community safer,” Caroline Limm said.

Limm had added incentive to get the shot.

“I do this because I have my first great granddaughter and I can carry her, I can hold her, I can be nearby her,” Limm said, after getting her first dose.

More than 80 healthcare workers are helping to staff the clinic.

Organizers say this location will be administering the Moderna vaccine, and those who get the shot will need to return 28 days later for a second dose.

Patients will also need to be monitored for 15-30 minutes after being inoculated.

“The most important thing is to get vaccinated. So if you’re out there, we’ve tried to make things easy — the phone system and online scheduling,” said Jason Chang, Queen’s Medical Center president.

“The faster we get the organization or the community vaccinated, the faster we’re going to turn this corner and recover as a state.”

The vaccination site will open on Monday at 8 a.m. and will run everyday except for Tuesdays.

So far, more than 12,000 people have signed up for an appointment. Patients are being asked to bring a picture ID along with their insurance card. Parking is free.

This will be an extra vaccination site in addition to Pier 2, which is up and running. So far, officials say more than 8,600 people have gotten the shot there.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.