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Lanai and Molokai on track to make COVID vaccine available to all residents 16 and up

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 9:51 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2021 at 9:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than half of Lanai and Molokai residents have received at least one vaccine dose and the shot will soon be available to eligible residents 16 and older, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

DOH said the reason why the vaccine is rolling out faster on other islands is because of how vulnerable the communities are.

“We are protecting the people on Molokai and Lanai very quickly,” said DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr. “And they’re getting the vaccine at a higher rate than other communities. It goes back to the fact that they don’t have a lot of hospital support.”

According to the DOH and the Lanai Community Health Center, opportunities for vaccination for all eligible residents 16 and up will be offered through a drive-in clinic.

DOH said they are following CDC guidelines and said the vaccine has been proven to be safe for younger populations.

However, there is still community hesitation.

Elton Kinoshita, principal of Lanai High and Elementary said, “Nobody wants to be the first out there on a limb by themselves.”

Kinoshita said he is happy that the rate of vaccination is going as fast as it is.

He said that the more people who get vaccinated, the more likely students can return to in-person learning.

“We can get our teachers back in and then we can get the kids back,” Kinoshita said. “It’s been very, very hard.”

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