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Oahu joins rest of state in expanding COVID vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and older

Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 2:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu joined the rest of the state Monday in expanding vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and older.

That also means that adults in every U.S. state are now eligible to get a vaccine, meeting President Biden’s deadline for vaccines to be available to every American above the age of 16 by April 19.

Hawaii and several other states were among the last to expand eligibility.

Oahu was the last county in the state to expand eligibility to this age group. Neighbor islands began vaccinating younger individuals in recent weeks.

The state Department of Health said this expansion means an additional 300,000 people will qualify for a shot. But officials are reminding the public to be patient because the vaccine supply still does not meet the demand.

For now, only the Pfizer vaccine is available for those under 18, so for places that are only doing Moderna — like the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center — they’ll only be serving those 18 and up.

The center said there is open availability this week for a mass vaccination at Nanakuli High and Intermediate School. Officials said they would have more if the Johnson & Johnson vaccine wasn’t recommended by the FDA and CDC to pause usage.

They said it will be focusing on getting the vaccine out to as many folks as possible for now, but soon they will be reaching out to populations who are on the fence about vaccinations.

They said also said they wouldn’t be able to continue vaccination hundreds of folks everyday and about a 1,000 on the weekends without their properties.

Hawaii’s vaccine efforts have held steady despite the pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

This past week, the Hawaii Department of Health announced that more than 1 million vaccine doses have been administered statewide.

The CDC says 50% of all adults have received at least one dose so far.

Read more: LIST: Here’s where to find COVID vaccine registration sites across the state

Another valuable resource is the CDC’s vaccinefinder.org.

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