COVID-19 UPDATE 32  

It’s National Public Health Week (April 5-11, 2021), and what a great time to celebrate public health! We have made tremendous strides since the pandemic began over a year ago, and the future seems bright as more and more people become vaccinated. This year’s theme is Building Bridges to Better Health, and we recognize this can only be achieved through a shared vision with all community members. Community organizations, government, academia, foundations, and businesses can all make a huge impact on public health. Follow us on  Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to uncover influential public health leaders throughout history, recognize current public health heroes, and share ways you can get involved in public health, no matter what your background or experience!

MONTHLY PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION WEBINAR

Climate Justice: Vulnerability and Resilience to COVID-19

Join us on April 7 at 1:00 PM to learn about how environmental health affects public health! Keeping the people in Hawai‘i safe and healthy, is dependent on healthy ecosystems & environmental justice. Environmental experts will share how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Hawaii’s marine life, why it’s important to have healthy ecosystems and how you can take action against environmental racism. Click here to register!

 

FEDERAL UPDATES

FDA Authorizes Changes to Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine to Improve Vaccine Availability

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized new vials may be used for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that can contain up to 15 doses each, compared with the original vials designed to hold 10 doses. Also, vaccine providers can safely extract up to 11 doses from the original vials. These changes will help bolster U.S. supplies and speed vaccinations!

New CDC Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People
Due to more evidence emerging upon real-world vaccine effectiveness, the CDC has released new guidelines on travel for fully vaccinated people. However, at this time, Hawai‘i still has its Safe Travels Program in effect, and vaccinated travelers are still subject to the state’s pre-testing/quarantine requirements. Even if you are fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends that you should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling! Click here to learn more.

STATE UPDATE

Expansion to Vaccinate 1C

The Hawai‘i Department of Health is now vaccinating more high-risk residents and essential workers. Those 65+, patients on dialysis, oxygen, or chemotherapy, essential workers employed at hotels, restaurants, and bars are now able to sign up for vaccination. For residents who identify with this age group or these medical conditions, you may register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine today!

COUNTY UPDATES

Kaua‘i County

Effective today, Kaua‘i rejoined Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program. This means that people traveling to Kaua‘i are no longer required to take a post travel COVID-19 test. Those who voluntarily take a post travel test 72 hours after arriving on the island will receive a Kōkua Kaua‘i card. This card provides travelers with discounts at local restaurants, shops and activities! If you are or know an interested business who would like to participate in this incentive program, please fill out an application form.

All Kaua‘i residents, age 16 and older, are now eligible for vaccination. Pfizer is the only authorized vaccine that is available to those age 16 and older. Vaccine appointments for Pfizer can be made at Wilcox Medical Center in Līhuʻe, Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital (KVMH) in Waimea, Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital in Kapa‘a. To schedule a vaccine appointment for any of the three authorized COVID-19 vaccines, please visit Walmart, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway, Longs, or any of the hospitals listed above. An overview of all vaccine providers can be found on the county’s website.

 

Maui County

All Maui residents, age 16 and older, are now eligible for vaccinations. To schedule an appointment online please visit the following providers: Maui Health, Costco, Safeway, Longs. For those ages 16 and older on Lāna‘i, appointments can be scheduled at Lāna‘i Community Hospital by calling 808-565-8450. Residents age 16 and older on Molokai can learn more about vaccination opportunities online or by calling Molokai General Hospital at 808-553-5331. An overview of all vaccine providers can be found online at Maui Nui Strong.

 

Hawai‘i County

All Hawai‘i county residents, age 16 and older, are now eligible for vaccination. Pfizer is the only authorized vaccine that is available to those age 16 and older. Vaccine appointments for Pfizer can be made at Hamakua-Kohala Health, Hilo Medical Center, Kona Community Hospital, and North Hawai‘i Community Hospital. To schedule a vaccine appointment for any of the three authorized COVID-19 vaccines, please visit Safeway, Longs, KTA Super Stores, or Kaiser Permanente online. Bay Clinic Inc. is also taking appointments by phone at (808) 934-3278 or you can email covidteam@bayclinic.org for more information. An overview of all vaccine providers can be found on the county’s website.

 

City and County of Honolulu

O‘ahu residents ages 60 and older now qualify for vaccination. In addition, the county has opened up vaccinations to essential workers in: banking and finance, transportation and logistics, construction, information technology, communications, media and retail! Learn more about who qualifies for vaccination and where to sign up for an appointment on Hawaii’s COVID-19 portal.

O‘ahu kūpuna can call 2-1-1 for help signing up for a vaccination appointment. Trained specialists are available seven days a week, providing assistance helping kūpuna through the registration process, securing appointments and helping eligible individuals receive transportation to a vaccination provider.

The City and County of Honolulu’s Rental & Utility Relief Program, which opened today, has been paused due to high demand. Visit the OneOahu website to leave your name and email address if you wish to be notified when this program reopens. Residents with income at or below the 50% area median income; or are 90 days unemployed prior to the application date are eligible for this program.

STATEWIDE RESOURCES

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Vaccine Summary 

On Hawaii’s Disease Outbreak Control Division (DOCD) website, you can find the Hawai‘i COVID-19 Vaccine Summary! You can track vaccines administered in the state and filter the data by county, age and race.

What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 

As vaccinations ramp up, more people are searching for information on what to expect after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. This video by the CDC and this printable PDF explains everything you need to know from common side effects to helpful tips.

COVID-19 Vaccine PSA Video in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog 

This new PSA provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shares four facts on COVID-19 vaccines. You can access the PSA on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s YouTube channel in the following languages: English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.

VaccineFinder for Federal Pharmacy Partners

The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program is a collaboration between the federal government and national pharmacy partners and independent pharmacy networks to increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations. The VaccineFinder allows you to locate participating pharmacies near you that offer vaccinations as well as showing their vaccine and appointment availability. Walgreens and Safeway have recently expanded as vaccine providers in Hawai‘i!

COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHT: Message From a Local Pharmacist

Lauren, a pharmacist, has been administering COVID-19 vaccines in long-term care facilities on O‘ahu to senior citizens since the vaccination efforts started. Lauren is grateful she feels to have the opportunity to vaccinate senior citizens. She expressed, “many have even come back to visit us at the end of each clinic day to express how thankful they are to have received their vaccine.” Lauren reminds everyone that it’s important to practice empathy during this time and is a quality she tries to live by. Lauren gracefully vocalized, “As a pharmacist administering COVID vaccines to the elderly population, it is important to be empathetic towards our patients as many are anxious and apprehensive about receiving the vaccine. It is our job to put these patients at ease and to try to educate them about the importance of getting the shot. My hope is that vaccinating everyone will all bring us back to some sense of normalcy and to the things we once enjoyed, whether it be traveling, eating out and of course, spending time with loved ones.”

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK 

Mindfulness is a practice that brings physical awareness to our mental and emotional state. There are many benefits to mindfulness and meditation such as reducing stress, increasing better sleep, improving mood and happiness, and helping heart function. In honor of National Public Health week, join Brown University for a free, 45 minute session, “Practicing Mindful Yoga & Mindfulness in the Natural World” on Thursday, April 8 at 9:00 a.m. HST. Register today for this free event!

 

DO YOU HAVE RESOURCES OR INFORMATION ON COVID-19 TO SHARE?

If you have any resources or updates we should include in our next email or on our website, feel free to contact us at covidresponse@hiphi.org