Maui Coronavirus Updates

Maui Health Aims to Administer 3,000 First Dose Vaccinations Next Week

By Wendy Osher
February 24, 2021, 5:23 PM HST
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Maui Health received its first shipment of 975 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Monday.

Maui Health issued a vaccine update this afternoon saying they are nearly finished with rescheduling first dose appointments for the 5,000 individuals whose appointments were canceled because of lack of vaccine supply in January.

“Beginning this weekend, we will re-open the VAMS portal,” said Tracy Dallarda a spokesperson for Maui Health and Maui Memorial Medical Center, in reference to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Administration Management System.

This will allow those that are already registered in federal VAMS system, “including the many kupuna 75 years and older that we have been assisting with the registration process, to schedule their first dose appointment,” said Dallarda.

Early next week, Maui Health will make available through its website, the Maui Health Vaccine Health Record form, which is the first step for Phase 1A, 1B qualified residents to request an appointment.

“After the form is completed and submitted, Maui Health will input the individual’s information into the VAMS system, and the individual will then be able to complete the VAMS registration process and then secure an appointment in VAMS,” said Dallarda.

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For more information on how to begin the registration process, and on qualified Phase 1A, 1B specifics, Maui Health encourages applicants to visit their website.

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The Maui Health vaccination clinic began in December 2020 shortly after the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were received. The clinic, located at the Maui Memorial Medical Center, has been actively vaccinating residents listed in the Phase 1A and 1B priority grouping.

Maui Health was one of the first in the state to begin vaccinating qualified residents. “At the time, we were averaging 750 vaccination appointments per day, and after three weeks of tremendous success in organizing an efficient, fully automated vaccination process, the clinic had to close and cancel all first dose vaccination appointments because of the lack of vaccine supply on Maui,” said Dallarda.

“Based on our experience with a restricted supply of vaccine, and the disruption of vaccine shipments because of inclement weather on the mainland in the last two weeks, Maui Health kept a reserve supply of vaccine to ensure enough was available so that our residents could receive their first and second dose from our clinic,” said Dallarda, saying “this was and continues to be a typical practice for hospitals around the country.”

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“Additionally, once we completed most of the second doses, we were able to redirect some of the vaccine supply to the first dose rescheduled appointments, which we’ve been doing for several weeks now,” she said.

To date, more than 12,000 residents (with nearly 10,000 of this number having received their first and second dose) have been vaccinated through Maui Health.

On Maui, the DOH reports that 9.1 percent of the population or 15,152 individuals have received a first dose of the vaccine; and 6.4 percent or 10,641 individuals have completed two doses. In total, Maui County has administered 25,793 doses among a total population base of 164,417.

“On average, we have been receiving two trays (975 doses per tray) each week of the Pfizer vaccine. This week, we received an extra tray that has increased our vaccine availability tremendously. With the support from the State Department of Health and the Healthcare Association of Hawaiʻi, we will be expanding our vaccination efforts next week,” said Dallarda.

According to Maui Health, the goal is to increase vaccine administration to 3,000 first doses (600 appointments per day) next week and 4,000 (800 appointments per day) the following week.

“We have assurances from the Department of Health that we will have ample vaccine supply to continue our vaccination efforts for both first and second doses,” said Dallarda.

“We are grateful to our Maui community for your patience and support throughout our vaccination efforts and also to our partners at the state Department of Health and the Healthcare Association of Hawaiʻi for their support of our expanded vaccination plan,” she said.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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