PARACHINI: Life won’t be normal any time soon

After President Trump’s chief of staff told the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration he’d be fired Friday if the agency didn’t approve the first COVID-19 vaccine for distribution that very day, it appears that the distorted political process of developing immunizations for the virus is running its course.

First up appears to be a Pfizer vaccine to be followed within days by a vaccine from Moderna. The Pfizer product has already encountered a few problems with adverse drug reactions in England, but the desperation about COVID, combined with the unrelenting politicization of the U.S. pandemic response, makes clear that this and other vaccines will soon be introduced.

What this all means for Kaua‘i is a still an unfolding story, but the Kaua‘i District Health Office has done a good job separating our island’s COVID response from the Washington politics that have damaged the credibility of the process there.

On a Thursday conference call, Dr. Janet Berreman, Kaua‘i’s district health officer, described two major developments that bear attention, especially because she has devoted more-than-considerable effort trying to ensure that our island gets its COVID responses — from quarantines to testing and vaccinations — right.

The first is that while the FDA has said 2.9 million doses could be shipped around the country in the next few days, with 81,000 coming to Hawai‘i, our island expects to receive about 4,000 doses between now and the end of December.

Those doses will go almost exclusively to front-line medical and health-care workers, from hospital staff to firefighters and ambulance crews. Vaccinations for the public on Kaua‘i won’t begin until sometime in the first quarter of next year — assuming the process goes smoothly. While nothing about the country’s COVID response has gone smoothly so far, we can at least continue to expect the response here locally to be well-coordinated.

The coming of the vaccine overshadows another major Kaua‘i COVID development. Until now, test samples collected on-island have had to be sent to O‘ahu for processing. That has sometimes meant a delay in getting results. Delay means people who are positive for the virus aren’t identified in a timely manner and may spread the disease between when they take the test and when they receive the results.

But starting in the next few weeks, Berreman said, two, new, high-speed processing machines are due to arrive on Kaua‘i. The faster of the two, which can handle 500 samples per eight-hour shift — or as many as 1,500 a day — will go to Wilcox Medical Center. The second machine will go to Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital. It is not quite as fast, but will strengthen our testing capabilities and cut the time it takes to get critical results.

This all leaves a looming unanswered question: Will people on Kaua‘i accept the vaccine and show up to get their series of two shots? Berreman said candidly that she doesn’t know.

However, for planning purposes, her office is projecting that about 70% of Kaua‘i residents will accept it.

It’s important to remember that none of the five vaccines in various stages of trials has fully completed all of the testing steps required under non-pandemic, normal circumstances. The rush to develop and approve them has been tainted by politics, and what regular people know about them is primarily from manufacturer news releases. That is a departure from the scientific norm of peer-reviewed studies published in medical journals so their methods and results can be replicated by independent researchers who have no financial ax to grind.

The situation led to an unprecedented editorial in the British medical journal The Lancet in late November that observed: “Unfortunately, the trials’ results were announced by press releases, leaving many scientific uncertainties that will dictate how the vaccines will affect the course of the pandemic.

“Little safety data are available. How well the vaccines work in older people and those with underlying conditions and their efficacy in preventing severe disease are still unclear. The duration of protection is unknown.”

For us here on Kaua‘i, this is made more worrisome by the fact that we have the highest rate of so-called vaccine-hesitancy of any county in the state. The routine vaccines in question are those used to save lives by preventing the usual childhood illnesses — measles, mumps, rubella and the like.

According to state Department of Health data released last year, about 2% of school students statewide were un-vaccinated. But on Kaua‘i, the rate was almost triple that — 5.7%. The unvaccinated rate was even worse for Kaua‘i charter schools — 8%.

Many of the un-vaccinated children were subject to so-called religious-exemption claims by their parents, though there is no statutory definition. On Kaua‘i, six of 27 schools reported exemption rates of 15% or more.

Various national polls over the last few months have shown that anti-vaccine prejudices are so deeply ingrained and the politics of the COVID vaccine have been so dangerous that about 35% of all Americans don’t intend to be inoculated. Among Republicans, only about 47% have said they will get the shots.

Trump politics clearly plays a role. Here on Kaua‘i, the November election results showed he got more than 11,500 votes — or 34% of the total. That’s about 11% more than Republicans get in typical Kaua‘i presidential voting. It seems safe to speculate that the proportion of Trump voters who won’t accept the vaccine will be substantial.

Without what may be the Trump anti-vaccination bump, we already have some of the worst and most-entrenched, irrational, anti-vaccine behavior anywhere in the country right here at home.

Dr. Berreman’s 70% projection — while modest — seems likely to be overly optimistic. All that said, even with the unknowns about these vaccines, there is still an argument to be made that getting the shots is a prudent personal decision, COVID being the menace it is.

We also know that even once vaccinations begin, it will take months for the entire island to be covered, and any immunity rates the vaccines produce will phase in gradually. Virtually nothing is known about how long immunity will last or what unexpected severe side effects may materialize.

We will all still need to wear masks, maintain safe social distance and keep up strict hygienic practices well into 2021, and probably well into 2022.

Life will not be back to normal any time soon.

•••

Allan Parachini is a Kilauea resident, furniture-maker, journalist and retired public-relations executive who writes periodically for The Garden Island.

20 Comments
  1. KauaiFarmMan December 13, 2020 5:39 am Reply

    Typical political based fear mongering. You call it irrational for people to doubt a vaccine when the makers of this vaccine say in their own literature that it may cause infertility in women. It also has jellyfish and aborted fetus genes spliced into it. This is literal Human GMO. But it irrational for us to be weary of a vaccine that was rushed out in under a year when vaccines typical take a decade to be proven safe. We know this virus kills 1 out of 300,000 people but we no nothing of the long term effects of this vaccine. We do know that the former CEO of Pfizer said he believed this vaccine was rushed and unsafe . But he’s just another irrational nobody that just ran the largest pharma company that also happens to make this vaccine. This vaccine is a death sentence, we will find out how safe it is in the coming months of peril.


  2. Barney December 13, 2020 7:16 am Reply

    I’m fine with the Karens getting the vaccinations. According to CDC statistics there hasn’t been a pandemic. I’d be very interested in joining a class action lawsuit for fraud though.


  3. kauaiboy December 13, 2020 8:34 am Reply

    Why the anticipated hesitancy of tRump supporters to support vaccinations?

    tRump touted his part in creating the “Warp Speed” program to speed up the vaccine development. But the boy-man and his sycophant FAUX news watchers have sowed so much distrust in any issue government-related that his ardent supporters do not even trust the results. Such blind distrust is destroying our democracy.

    Here is how to get back to “normal”: once the vaccine is made available to anyone on Kauai willing to take it, open the flood gates and get our tourism dollars rolling again. If you choose not to be innoculated and get the virus, you may live or you may die. Your choice.

    If you are old, or have medical issues, or work closely with covid patients you are highly encouraged to take the vaccine. If you are not old, or have medical issues, or work closely with covid patients and you choose not to be vaccinated, you are taking your chances and taking your life in your hands. So be it.


  4. STEVE December 13, 2020 8:53 am Reply

    Informative article! But we need change, in our healthcare system and behavior…normal is how we got here.


  5. Oia'i'o December 13, 2020 9:13 am Reply

    So we get the vaccine and we still have to wear masks well into 2022? This is a alarming statement. Isn’t the vaccine supposed to return us to normal? If Kauai has the most unvacccinated children in the state, how come we have no widespread outbreaks? Remember when we had thousands of visitors a year. No outbreaks? I wonder if Dr. Berreman has looked around Kauai and seen all our churches? We as native peoples and non native have a religious right not to put unatural preservatives, metals, in some vaccines with unborn fetal cells into our bodys. To make light of a “so called religious exemption” is wrong of Dr. Berreman. This attitude of colonization and misunderstanding of a spiritual way of life and conformity to oppression is very typical from the doctor. Remember she IS advising the Mayor who always says “God bless.” She states in this article the vaccine has many unknowns. Why would we give the people who keep us safe and care for us the vaccine first? Just remember she is the one calling the shots. What’s next the kapuna, people with co-morbidities?Did they do testing on these groups in the trials? NO. They are the human experiment. Our family members and friends. Lastly to tie politics and say Trump supporters won’t participate in the vaccine inoculation is out of line! She is a Dr. Why is she bringing politics into this discussion? Does that tell something? I urge all readers native and non to use your mind, stop being told what to think, think for yourselves and do the research. Turn off the TV and start reading. Its not hard to find the peer reviewed citations.
    FDA.gov Pfizer study is there. Check it out. These so called doctors are really paid off politicians not telling us the true science and facts for the continued oppression. Look at the economic state of Kauai under her recomendations. In this article she contradicts herself and once again no science. We as a community should be very concerned with Dr Berreman and her agenda, by her comments she obviously doesn’t know Kauai and real Kauai people. We are intelligent people! Its time to start asking some hard questions to these so called leaders


    1. Rick December 13, 2020 5:36 pm Reply

      Dr. Berr is just a sad product of the establishment. Unable to question what has been spoon fed to her as “fact”.


  6. Uncleaina December 13, 2020 9:20 am Reply

    Well written but with a huge error. YES the vaccines DID go through all the normal testing. It just was rushed through the administrative stages such as when the approval committees meet etc. NO ASPECT OF THE SCIENCE WAS RUSHED! The phase 3 trials done by both Pfizer and Moderna had 44,000 participants each – just as any large clinical trial would have. Yes they did it faster- but no corners were cut. This is a pretty significant error to put in print at this critical juncture. I would suggest an correction or you’re just adding to the misinformation.


    1. Sasha December 15, 2020 7:05 pm Reply

      Well written and an abundant amount of truth. This brand new vaccine with new technology has never in twenty yrs made it out of a lab. Why? Well look up corona virus vaccines & the “CHALLENGE TEST”! All lab animals have expired. NOT MISINFORMATION. So a first time ever new vax made in keas than one yr. Yes Dr. B writes again they’ve been studying corona virus vaccines for a long time in 12/14 article. So she just confirmed what I said. This IS an extremely dangerous vaccine when all trials have been done on healthy individuals. Participants have openly admitted to severe side effects of high fever, chills, headaches, body aches & more. How are out Kapuna to handle that? Freedom to choose is a human right for a virus that the infamous CDC
      exclaims had over a 99% survival rate. Be informed, research places like PubMed, NCBI.NLM etc and look at the info. You are causing a distraction by using the word misinformation. Lastly, misinformation IS rampant. If you read this paper, watch mainstream media & listen to our leaders aka politicians you HAVE been misinformed.


  7. Rick Wrisk December 13, 2020 10:07 am Reply

    The following are statements from the Vaccine article and are not very encouraging, if not frightening. Taking the risk of the vaccine for Covid-19 virus is a greater risk to than getting the virus itself.

    Besides getting the necessary Immunity against the Covid-19 virus and becoming Non-Contagious so you do not spread it to others is 100% guarantee when you get the ACTUAL Covid-19 virus itself.

    But when you get the synthetic vaccine you only get immunity to the vaccine and not immunity to the Covid-19 virus, NOR will you become Non-Contagious with the Covid-19 virus.

    So read it and weep…! “Quotes” from the article, and (parentheses) from the commenters.

    “the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (was told) he’d be fired Friday if the agency didn’t approve the first COVID-19 vaccine for distribution that very day.” (In other words the heck with the safety testing, start selling the dam vaccine, we need the money, and stay in control of the people to do what we tell them. May we add: it’d be safer to give them a vaccine of just water.)

    “vaccine from…The Pfizer product has already encountered a few problems with adverse drug reactions in England,” (Is that the pesky lethal anaphylactic shock again, when you drop dead in a minute.)

    “ two new, high-speed (virus) processing machines are due to arrive on Kaua‘i. The faster of the two, which can handle 500 samples per eight-hour shift — or as many as 1,500 a day — will go to Wilcox Medical Center.” (Which means test visitors on arrival or ASAP after arrival with a mini quarantine, plus have visitors arrive with a negative test, or a 2 week prior positive test which is same as already quarantined but having Immunity and being Non-Contagious as to Covid-19 virus.)

    “series of two shots?” Oops we forgot to tell you that you must have 2 sore arms and plenty side effects of the flu…but twice. With actual Covid-19 virus you get either Zero symptoms or mild to moderate symptoms but only once.

    “that none of the five vaccines (there’s about 30 worldwide) in various stages of trials has fully completed all of the testing steps required under non-pandemic, normal circumstances. The rush to develop and approve them has been tainted by politics, and what regular people know about them is primarily from manufacturer news releases.” (We’re gonna push this vaccine program through no matter what, safety be damned. So what that 35 people already died in So. Korea from the vaccine.)

    “That is a departure from the scientific norm of peer-reviewed studies published in medical journals so their methods and results can be replicated by independent researchers who have no financial ax to grind.”
    (There is so much money to be made just give it to the masses, no worry about bad reactions, sickness and deaths, we can and have been covering that up; and spiked the Covid-19 deaths already by false reporting.)

    “Little safety data are available.” (who cares just be the vaccines into the cities and towns. Let the drug addicts inject themselves, saves even more money.)

    “How well the vaccines work in older people and those with underlying conditions and their efficacy in preventing severe disease are still unclear.” (who cares we got billions of people worldwide to inject, besides those African vaccines successfully made a lot of females sterile..no more children. As to the sick and elderly, they’re gonna die anyway.)

    “The duration of protection is unknown.” (We’re here to sell vaccines not long term immunity like you’d get from getting the actual Covid-19 virus.)

    (Kaua’i people have) irrational, anti-vaccine behavior anywhere in the country” (how did people on Kauai turn out to be so Akamai thinking people. Good thing they are the last Out West location in America, and not in the middle of the USA, telling others about Safety First, and Nature is God’s personal representative on earth, and not some phony laboratory synthetic petrochemical carcinogenic tainted soup shot into your arm, not once but gotta be twice…who on earth would go back for the second shot except fools and heroin addicts. Forget the safety of children, there are too many anyway. And Autism? Kids and most people are stupid anyway, look at them salivating for the vaccine.)

    “Virtually nothing is known about how long immunity will last or what unexpected severe side effects may materialize.” (And keep it a mystery, proof it does not work, but people for some weird reason believe in occult corporate financial medical scams like cancer treatment that kills millions of cancer victims.)

    “We will all still need to wear masks, maintain safe social distance and keep up strict hygienic practices well into 2021, and probably well into 2022.” (After all the hocus pocus, the HOAX will continue, the people must continue TO OBEY and do what they are told. After all there will be more demands in the future they must obey. So we must keep them under control.)

    As citizens, this pandemic has had manipulation of the numbers of deaths, false reporting to spike hospital incomes, false statistics reporting, incredible amounts and types of illness information withheld, we’ve even witnessed election fraud as well. The people in charge are simply not to be trusted with our health. Why should we let them inject a synthetic disease into our and our children’s bodies. This ain’t a Nazi Regime, we are the United States of America, a Democracy, and the Home of the Free, and the Brave. So don’t chicken out on this ScamDemic. Let the vaccine makers, sellers, and scientists inject themselves, and destroy the rest of this biological warfare chemical cocktail designed against our citizens.

    The people who are weak to the actual Covid-19 virus have been made that way through food grown and manufactured by corporations using the same chemicals in the food and medications and prescription drugs, that are in these warp speed fast tracked reckless tainted chemically infected and only God knows what else injected vaccine they want to tame us with. For those in control América has just been too FREE.

    Well right now it ain’t FREE enough. Bring back HEALTH CARE, DISEASE CARE is still not working, Disease Care mostly serves to perpetuate Disease and sell Prescription Drugs and mutilating surgery.


  8. James I. Kuroiwa, Jr. December 13, 2020 10:29 am Reply

    Allan Parachini, we agree that Kauai life will not be normal anytime soon, but for very different reasons. First, we will miss President Donald J. Trump as he would have continued his work towards World Peace and Economic Stability with the United States leading and continuing to establish itself as a Constitutional Republic and conform the Rule of Law. We will begin life in normalcy by the end of Summer as the other three vaccine developers gain their approval by early January providing some four times (20,000 units) vaccine availability for Kauai residents by end of January 2021. The second issue that we may miss for the next four years is the Supreme Court reversal of their 1962 decision to ban religion and prayer in the public schools. And the third issue would have been the reform of the Mainstream Media and Big Technology in controlling the information for the citizens of the United States in lieu of “Fake News” and “Speculation” with “Un-named Senior Sources” being the bases of “Truth and Fact”. Anyway, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


  9. Alinuc cayas December 13, 2020 10:43 am Reply

    So we get the vaccine and we still have to wear masks well into 2022? This is a alarming statement. Isn’t the vaccine supposed to return us to normal? If Kauai has the most unvacccinated children in the state, how come we have no widespread outbreaks? Remember when we had thousands of visitors a year. No outbreaks? I wonder if Dr. Berreman has looked around Kauai and seen all our churches? We as native peoples and non native have a religious right not to put unatural preservatives, metals, in some vaccines with unborn fetal cells into our bodys. To make light of a “so called religious exemption” is Owe of Dr. Berreman. This attitude of colonization and misunderstanding of a spiritual way of life and conformity to oppression is very typical from the doctor. Remember she IS advising the Mayor who always says “God bless.” She states in this article the vaccine has many unknowns. Why would we give the people who keep us safe and care for us the vaccine first? Just remember she is the one calling the shots. What’s next the kapuna, people with co-morbidities?Did they do testing on these groups in the trials? NO. They are the human experiment. Our family members and friends. Lastly to tie politics and say Trump supporters won’t participate in the vaccine inoculation is out of line! She is a Dr. Why is she bringing politics into this discussion? Does that tell something? I urge all readers native and non to use your mind, stop being told what to think, think for yourselves and do the research. Turn off the TV and start reading. Its not hard to find the peer reviewed citations.
    FDA.gov Pfizer study is there. Check it out. These so called doctors are really paid off politicians not telling us the true science and facts for the continued oppression. Look at the economic state of Kauai under her recomendations. In this article she contradicts herself and once again no science. We as a community should be very concerned with Dr Berreman and


    1. Kauai Girl December 14, 2020 5:00 am Reply

      I totally agree Oia’i’o…well said!!


  10. truth be known December 13, 2020 2:38 pm Reply

    You’ve got to wonder why the CEO of Pfizer dumped 64% of his stock several weeks ago. Maybe they did the animal studies of their vaccine in private and were not happy with the long term effects. Let’s hope that our first responders do not have adverse effects from their injections or we will really be in trouble! Instead of this craze for a vaccine, I would much prefer that our hospitals and pharmacies stock up on the new treatments for COVID-19 that have proven very effective, rather than putting all of our eggs in the vaccine basket.


  11. behappy December 13, 2020 2:50 pm Reply

    Please do some fact checking. Neither Pfizer nor Moderna use human fetus parts. Both of these vaccines are made from a DNA template in a lab, rather than the traditional method of being made in cells. The vaccine is then synthetically produced and does not contain fetus parts.
    Rather than applauding all the hard work and organization that went into developing and making this vaccine available, some choose to try to make it political. Hasn’t everyone had enough of dirty politics, vote manipulation and outright deceit in vote counting? Can you not at least support a cure for the virus, even if you hate the president who is responsible for making it happen?


  12. Mr.Ford December 13, 2020 3:04 pm Reply

    To God I belong & to God I will go to. These people who want this to go smoothly are a lost hope on the Day of Judgment. It’s got MISCHIEF all over it and it board and wide.


  13. Uncleaina December 13, 2020 3:50 pm Reply

    Wow, it’s sad and crazy to read the comments today. Can’t anyone craft a rational thought anymore? Listen, if you’re this crazy I doubt you’ll ever take the vaccine. Just do everyone a favor and sit down and be quiet. Most of these comments don’t have a single iota of truth to them. I’m happy to get your dose of the vaccine and move on with my life. With such a small population, Kauai could be vaccinated and ready to return to normal by April. However with these same anti science woot woots constantly spreading lies and misinformation, it’s challenging.


    1. Kennedy Love December 14, 2020 7:28 pm Reply

      Vaccines fail, wane, injure & kill. See the VCIP, Vax Injury Comp Program and VAERS government reports. So there is per cdc.gov a 99% survival rate but no one is certain on the brand new never before made it out of lab in twenty yrs corona vac!! I urge folks who want an education on cv vaccines to look up what a challenge test is. Of course challenge test in relation to corona virus vaccines. Do it & you’ll understand why people are vax hesitant.


  14. JD December 13, 2020 4:35 pm Reply

    Nice biased article. TGI has been so anti Trump from the beginning and you still haven’t changed your ways. The replies also reeks of information that is half truths and pieced together from numerous websites.


  15. Sayit Aintso December 13, 2020 7:25 pm Reply

    We just read that the AstraZeneca vaccine has chimpanzee virus in it. We’re not sure about you but we sure as heck are not gonna allow those crazy greedy scientist poison pushers to inject monkey virus into our children, much less injected into us tired weary out of work former hard workers formerly supporting our families instead of now waiting in car food lines waiting for food some of which is unfit for monkeys.

    All the while “Richie Rich” DEREK lays around on the lawn in his spare time when he’s not frightening the children with his elementary school age nursery rhyme voice on the radio extolling the dangers of death that the virus has that has killed no one on Kauai, and for some reason it is a secret as to the ages of those who are hospitalized, withholding what diseases they have had ongoing for decades and what drugs they are on, and what drugs the hospital is giving them on top of their already polluted pile of pills.

    We are being told in media that what is thought to be a simple drug, Ibuprofen, (Advil is one of the names), is an over the counter medication anyone can buy, but doctors think it causes complications that causes the lungs of its victims to require the dreaded killer, The Ventilator.

    Why all this secrecy? If people on Oahu are dying from Covid but only if they have the diseases I have and taking the same drugs I am taking…I want to know. Because I’m fine without the drugs, I only take them because the doctor tells me. In the meantime others with my diseases are doing healthy things, that are getting them well without the drugs and no longer have the diseases.

    I’m learning actual Health means personal internal Strength, and why most people have no symptoms or get sick when they get the Covid-19 virus. I want to be like them. I think I’m sick from all the chemical drugs I’m taking, and the chemicals in the ingredients in the food from the store I’m eating.

    God and my parents put me on earth, not some chemical factory, or a prescription drug. I think it’s time for me to turn over a new leaf, like an avocado leaf, instead of a fake leaf made from plastic.

    I’m putting my Faith in our Creator which has been taking care of all of Earth’s creatures since life began.

    All these diseases and pollutions have only begun since mankind started messing with chemicals including the prescription drugs and chemicals in the food, water, air, and on the land. This chemicsl dependency has got to stop. I’m going Fake Free, from now on only things natural for me. For example, instead of having fruit flavors in my food, i’m gonna switch to real fruit and improve from there. I don’t need to hear God Bless You, I need to eat food made by God who makes real food. Some people can destroy the virus before it makes them sick. Why not, others are doing it already. I’m gonna find a Health Coach to point me in a Healthy Direction.

    Healthy people are hot getting sick or dying front the Covid-19 virus.

    Right off the BAT, (pun intended) this Covid-19 virus came from the Chinese City of Wuhan, either the Bat Virus Research Center, or down the block the Wuhan Fresh Bat Meat Wet Market. I’ll have neither. We don’t need virus research, we need Healthy people who easily overcome any virus, there are obviously plenty people like that already. Looks the statistics, 98% have no symptoms or only mild or moderate ones and only once, not twice like the risky vaccine, and usually many die from the vaccine. It’s a gamble to take the vaccine.


  16. mike December 14, 2020 8:15 am Reply

    Regarding the story quoted in the lead posting in this chain about President Trump’s chief of staff (allegedly) telling the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration he’d be fired Friday if the agency didn’t approve the first COVID-19 vaccine for distribution that very day, This story is a perfect example of why people do not trust the media and why it has come to be known as fake news. The story is based alleged information from “unnamed sources” in the white house. The use of unnamed sources to widely used the the fake news to say whatever they want. The head of the FDA categorically denies the story saying it never took place. When I read the article about this story the denial by the head of the FDA was hidden in paragraph 5 or 6.


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