New clinic ensures Pacific Islander community has access to COVID vaccine

Dozens of doses were given out to members of the Pacific Islander community Tuesday.
Dozens of doses were given out to members of the Pacific Islander community Tuesday.(HNN)
Updated: Feb. 9, 2021 at 9:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Tuesday the state Department of Health said 210,250 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered statewide.

Among those who got their first dose on Tuesday were dozens of kupuna and caregivers in the Pacific Islander Community.

The organization “We Are Oceania” teamed up with Kalihi-Palama Health Center to launch a COVID vaccination clinic at St. Elizabeth’s Church. Interest among the community surpassed anticipated demand.

About 50 appointments were made over the last few days with more people reaching out as word about the clinic spread, organizers said.

“There’s more people who are calling. And our elders are coming in with their caregivers, (and) families are asking if we could also do another one,” Josie Howard of We Are Oceania said.

A survey found hundreds of Marshallese residents wanted the shots, but had trouble going about getting one as many of the elders don’t speak English.

“The trust is very important. Feeling comfortable where they go,” Howard added. “This is a community center so it makes them feel more welcome, less intimidated.”

Translators were there to help those who don’t speak English. The group is still collecting names for the next vaccine clinic. Interested community members can call 913-1364.

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