Green suggests a timeline for vaccination expansion, easing travel rules

Green suggests a timeline for vaccination expansion, easing travel rules
An empty TSA line at a Hawaii airport. (Source: HNN File)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the state anticipates a large shipment of COVID vaccines this week, Lt. Gov. Josh Green provided a look ahead at the estimated timeline for vaccination expansion — and an anticipated easing of travel restrictions.

Health officials will be getting more than 67,000 COVID vaccine doses this week. The shipment will include 12,000 doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson shot.

The remaining will be Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Longs Drugs pharmacies are separately getting another 10,000 doses.

Green says March 15 is the state’s target date to expand vaccinations to people ages 70 and up.

Green says those 65 years and older, along with patients who have medical conditions, will likely start in April.

“The good news has been we’ve seen a real drop in our hospital numbers over the last two months because of the fact of vaccinating our kupuna,” Green said.

He also hopes by that time, the state will drop all restrictions for inter-island travel.

“My personal recommendation, is we get to that point on or before April 1 where we have no requirements for testing between the neighbor islands because we are safe and we’ve vaccinated so many of our people.”

He says if that goes well, vaccinated travelers from out-of-state could be cleared by May under the vaccination passport plan. Any changes to travel, however, will have a long way to go as both the governor and the county mayors need to agree.

Green also agreed with the effort to get elementary school students back to in-person learning by the end of March.

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