Hundreds of monkeypox vaccines administered as state expands eligibility

So far, Hawaii has had 18 confirmed cases of Monkeypox in the islands.
Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 5:43 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - To curb potential spread of monkeypox, eligibility requirements for the vaccine were expanded and more clinics are offering doses.

It has been about a week since the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center began administering monkeypox vaccinations.

On Sunday, they were set up and ready to administer 100 doses of the monkeypox vaccine at a pool party hosted by Gay Island Guide in Kapolei.

“Your best chance of protecting people and protecting the community is meeting people where they’re at,” said Epidemiologist of the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Jacob Schafer. “Making them as easy as possible and convenient as possible to get your free vaccination.”

Schafer said a steady stream of people stopped by their booth to get vaccinated.

“This is not a gay disease,” said Shafer. “But right now, men who have sex with men in the gay and bisexual community are the ones who are most affected right now and it’s so encouraging to see people protecting their community and coming out.”

Deputy State Epidemiologist, Dr. Nathan Tan said Hawaii currently has 18 monkeypox cases.

Those eligible for the vaccine include close contacts, gay, bisexual men or men having sex with other men. People who are immune compromise are also eligible.

Throughout the weekend, the state Department of Health administered about 600 vaccinations at their Blaisdell Center clinic.

“We’re very happy about the turnout and certainly we encourage all eligible persons for vaccinations With colleges and universities back in session, Tan encourages students to take precautions.

“It’s an area we’re keeping an eye on and we’ve been communicating with universities and colleges,” said Tan. “The risk for the general population is low.”

“For those individuals who are eligible for vaccination, it’s really important to get vaccinated.” The vaccination is a two-dose series administered four weeks apart.

Here’s more information on where you can get vaccinated.