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Hawaii officials credit vaccinations for progress in fight against COVID, but concerns linger

The Queen's Health System held a vaccine clinic at McKinley High School Saturday from 10 a.m. -...
The Queen's Health System held a vaccine clinic at McKinley High School Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.(Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 7:14 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is seeing encouraging signs of progress in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, but health officials are still cautiously optimistic as the state’s vaccine demand is dropping.

Just 14 new COVID-19 infections were reported Monday, the lowest number of daily infections since July 2020. The state Department of Health credits vaccines for that.

“Just to see that number so low today is very encouraging,” DOH spokesman Brooks Baehr said. “It just shows how effective the vaccines have been in knocking down number of new cases.”

Baehr added, “In the event there’s a breakthrough case, the vaccines have prevented people from getting severely ill, and they’ve prevented death — we have not had one person who was fully vaccinated succumb to COVID yet.”

In a tweet, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said “most if not all” new coronavirus patients in Oahu hospitals were people who were not vaccinated.

According to the state, 33 COVID positive residents are hospitalized in Hawaii, including 23 on Oahu. Seven COVID patients across Hawaii are in the intensive care unit, and two are on ventilators.

While Monday’s number is encouraging, officials watch trends rather than a single day — and they are concerned about Hawaii’s vaccine demand dropping.

“The actual pace of vaccinations has slowed significantly and the number of vaccines administered in the last week is significantly lower than the number of vaccinations administered, for example, two weeks ago,” Gov. David Ige said Monday in a press conference.

There’s also growing concern about the Delta variant. First discovered in India, it’s now been detected in nearly every state, including in Hawaii.

It’s more transmissible and has led to a rise in hospitalizations among unvaccinated Americans.

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