Vaccine clinics pop up in west Oahu to help communities hit hard by COVID

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:23 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:48 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With COVID cases and hospitalizations surging in west Oahu, health care providers are hosting pop-up clinics to encourage vaccinations among communities hardest hit by the virus.

In areas like west Oahu, vaccination rates are well behind the state average.

However, following the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, health officials said they are hoping this will encourage those who were hesitant to finally get the shot.

Prepping for an increase in vaccinations, opportunities to get inoculated are popping up all over west Oahu — including a new effort from the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce.

On Thursday morning, Hawaii Pacific Health set up their VAX Squad bus outside Aloha Petroleum for a vaccine clinic that started at 6 a.m.

It was part of a larger push to reach people on the west side, bringing resources to where they live and work.

Most of Hawaii’s major health care providers are also part of the initiative, including Queen’s Health System, Kaiser Permanente and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.

”We did this effort to engage our business community, give them resources, availability of the vaccine for their employees,” said Kiran Polk, executive director of the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce.

“We just hope that more people will take the opportunity.”

Polk added that she is troubled by west Oahu’s low vaccination rate and said it will take compassion, understanding and persistence to combat some of the misinformation that is keeping those in her community from getting the shot.

”There is so much misinformation and misunderstanding and even just people simply being busy and not taking the opportunity — and it’s just heartbreaking to hear these stories because these are our families out here, our Ohana that are just suffering,” Polk said.

As part of the vaccination effort, there are a number of pop-up clinics taking place at Campbell Industrial Park.

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