Community groups organize vaccination clinic to serve Papakolea seniors, essential workers

Patients were part of the Papakolea Community Kupuna program.
Patients were part of the Papakolea Community Kupuna program.(Kaiser Permanente Hawaii)
Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 4:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Instead of having to travel far to receive their vaccines, 50 kupuna and essential workers were able to get the vaccine to come to them.

In an initiative to vaccinate kupuna and underserved communities, Kaiser Permanente set out to Papakolea Homestead to vaccinate patients vulnerable to COVID-19.

“I’m so happy that they had it at the community center,” said Vernon Kaahanui, Sr. “It was really easy.”

The event was held in collaboration with community groups, Kula no na Poe Hawaii o Papakolea, Kewalo and Kalawahine, who worked on the ground, knocking door-to-door and mailing out flyers to inform residents about the event.

Vaccinations were by appointment only and patients were part of the Papakolea Community Kupuna program.

Barbara Kaili said that she is grateful to have taken the vaccine.

“It is important to take this vaccine, so that we all can be in good health and fight this COVID,” she said.

Kaiser Permanente said that it is exploring other opportunities to partner with community organizations in the future and is dedicated to ensuring equitable access to services, especially helping Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“Bringing vaccine to underserved communities makes it more convenient and easier for our kupuna and others to be protected against the virus.”

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