This is how the Health Department determines which essential workers get vaccinated

Updated: Feb. 11, 2021 at 8:23 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Department of Health is being flooded with requests from essential workers who want the COVID vaccine and then reviewing their cases.

DOH said it is trying to have certain groups vaccinated at certain locations, but there is no definitive list of which locations are giving shots to which groups.

DOH wants employers to fill out a survey online so they can determine when their employees should get shots and where.

The DOH defines frontline essentials as those “whose duties must be performed on-site and require being in close proximity to the public or coworkers, and are essential to the functioning of society.”

If an employee fits into the Phase 1B category, they will be further stratified into priority groups.

“So many people have valid arguments, it’s a very difficult process to try to weigh these things and come up with a plan,” said Brooks Baehr, Health Department spokesperson.

Baehr said they have reached out to some agencies directly while others must fill out the form.

Baehr said anyone can fill out the survey, even independent workers.

Dr. David Gaudi, the head of school at Saint Mark Lutheran School in Kaneohe, said about a third of educators in his school have been vaccinated. But, he said, the process hasn’t gone smoothly.

“We think we can you know, go to these particular locations, as 1B essential workers, and then we’re told either we can’t or they’re booked and then they’re canceled,” Gaudi said.

Gaudi added his teachers were signing up with individual hospitals and clinic.

The DOH said in this case, a sign-up link was forwarded to these individuals that was meant for another group but they recognize that there is a lot of confusion relating to the vaccine.

“It is inconsistent,” Gaudi said. “It’s incredibly frustrating. I can’t imagine I’m the only head of school or person dealing with this frustration.”

The department doesn’t actually have a final plan for distribution but an executive summary and a clear idea for direction. They said they’re waiting for additional guidance from the CDC.

The executive summary of that plan can be found here.

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