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Demand for vaccines grows amid soaring case counts, employer mandates

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 5:48 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 6, 2021 at 5:58 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Providers say vaccinations are up in Hawaii as COVID surges and more employers institute mandates.

Kaiser Permanente reports about a 15% increase in COVID shots this week over last week across all its clinics.

Mae Lynne Swoboda, clinic administration manager at Kaiser Permanente, said a pop-up clinic at Kaiser High School was busy on Friday morning.

They offered either the Pfizer vaccine to those 12 and older or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for those 18 and older.

“Since the mandates came out earlier this week, we’ve definitely seen an increased traffic this morning and yesterday afternoon,’ said Swoboda.

Matthew “Pono” Kanehailua, a security guard at Kaiser High School, was among those who got vaccinated.

“I was kind of emotional before getting my vaccine, so I was on the edge of not doing anything, and not acting upon this,” he said.

“But I need my job so I’m doing it for the kids and for my family.”

Brandt Costa, of Honolulu, also got a vaccine Friday.

“Due to the really high-count number right now, you know, it’s really increasing, I kind of figured it would have after Fourth of July,” Costa said.

“So, it’s just that time, I kind of held off for a while just to see you know, everybody’s reaction to the different vaccines.”

Kaiser High School had students sign-up for an appointment earlier this week.

“From three, it jumped to 30 within a week, I think what had something to do with it was perhaps, you know, the, the community numbers just jumped up,” said Kaiser Principal Justin Mew.

Project Vision was also at the clinic offering free COVID testing.

Kaiser Permanente will be hosting vaccine clinics throughout the weekend.

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