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Vaccination sites mostly empty as COVID infections surge in Hawaii

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:31 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 5:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the number of new COVID infections surge in Hawaii, daily vaccination numbers are going in the opposite direction.

On Friday, two of Oahu’s largest vaccination sites were mostly empty.

There were no lines at the Queen’s Medical Center’s Blaisdell Center vaccination clinic. The people who did go were in and out in under a half hour.

For Orlando Daquioag, getting the shot was a spur of the moment decision prompted by his 12-year-old son.

Daquioag’s wife, Sheena, said her son wanted to be more comfortable going into school.

“So I decided to come get one with him as well,” she said.

After hearing about how easy it was, Orlando Daquioag became the third member of the family to get a COVID vaccine.

“I told him you can do a walk-in,” said Sheena Daquioag.

Officials at the Blaisdell clinic say lately walk-ins have been rare.

For weeks, they’ve averaged only about 10 a day.

“At this point in time there’s no indication that the increasing number of infections is translating into an increasing number of vaccinations,” said Healthcare Association of Hawaii CEO Hilton Raethel.

It was the same story on Friday morning at Hawaii Pacific Health’s vaccination clinic at Pier 2, where the parking lot was mostly empty.

Statewide, clinicians only administered an average of 2,153 shots a day this week.

That’s down from last week, when the average was 2,419 shots a day.

Raethel says leaders are working to come up with new ways to drive up demand.

“Whether that’s a mandate. Or other types of incentives,” he said.

Back at the Blaisdell, the Daquioags immediately made an appointment for their next shot.

“We’re coming back for the second one Aug. 13,” Sheena Daquioag said. “And I cannot wait to be fully vaccinated.”

To find a vaccination site near you, go to HawaiiCOVID19.com. You can also schedule an in-home shot by calling the state Department of Health at 586-8332.

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