In preparation for phase one of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution on Maui, a vaccination trial-run was held in the parking lot of University of Hawaiʻi Maui College on December 15, 2020. The college partnered with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health’s (DOH) Maui District Health Office (MDHO), Hawaiʻi National Guard and Maui County Emergency Operations Center. Throughout the morning, professionals and students practiced a “drive-through” vaccination model.
“The idea with the drive-through is that we can minimize contact between staff and clients, and between clients. Every run-through we did got better, as we worked through the details of traffic control, check in, registration and the actual vaccination operations,” said UH Maui College Chancellor Lui Hokoana. “It was thrilling to see 40 of our nurses out there involved in this effort.”
Hawaiʻi National Guard Task Force Maui, under the direction of Colonel Tyson Tahara, has been instrumental in helping to plan and organize vaccine operations.
“This functional exercise brought up a number of areas that we will continue to refine as we prepare clinical and support staff to provide vaccinations efficiently and safely in the coming months,” Tahara said.
Communication is ongoing with Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi communities on how to meet the specific needs of their islands.
It is anticipated that the Pfizer, Moderna and possibly other approved COVID-19 vaccines will be shipped weekly to Maui for eventual distribution county-wide to anyone who wants one.
Under the direction of Health Officer Lorrin Pang, MDHO will kick off vaccine distribution operations by administering vaccinations to high-risk first responders, health care workers and care home patients and staff throughout Maui County.
Pang said, “The COVID 19 vaccination is voluntary and free. Even though it will help to drastically decrease the threat of COVID over time, all of Maui should continue basic disease prevention behaviors such as mask-wearing and social distancing until we can reach herd immunity.” He anticipates completing distribution to the first tiers of high-risk groups by Valentine’s Day.
Vaccinations are distributed according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
More information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Hawaiʻi.