LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i Police Department officer Kevin Kamakahi didn’t feel a thing on Wednesday getting his first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’m feeling good,” Kamakahi said after the shot from Medical Reserve Corp’s Dr. Warren Sparks. “I was expecting a little more pain, but I didn’t feel anything.”
On Tuesday, the Kaua‘i District Health Office opened up its COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Kaua‘i Memorial Convention Hall for first responders at 8 a.m. to a line.
This week, first responders and health care workers were given the opportunity to schedule vaccine appointments. Providers and staff from practices including dentists, physical therapists, mental health professionals and other non-physician practices were also included.
Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 Information Specialist Jesse Broder Van Dyke said over 300 first responders, ranging from officers and firefighters to private practice dentists and airport processing personnel with Transportation Security Administration, have gotten their first dose. The vaccine is voluntary and free, Broder Van Dyke added. For the Moderna vaccine, the second dosage is administered in about 28 days.
Last week, health care workers were offered the first round of vaccinations on Kaua‘i.
Vaccinations for long-term care facilities started Monday through direct federal contracts with CVS and Walgreens, Broder Van Dyke said.
As vaccine shipments become available, opportunities for essential workers, kupuna over 75 and those with chronic health conditions will be available.
“Vaccines will provide us with the protection our county needs to be able to lessen restrictions on travelers and on community activities,” Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman said in Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing. “Until most of us are fully vaccinated, our community remains at risk, and we must continue using the measures that we know provide the protection we need.”
Kaua‘i Fire Department Fire Captain Kilipaki Vaughan had 100% turnout from his crew Hanapepe Station 6 crew Wednesday.
“We want to make sure we protect ourselves, protect our families,” Vaughan said.
Due to the nature of the job, Vaughan said there have been “possible encounters” before.
“(We) want to protect ourselves so we can do the job for everyone else,” Vaughan said. “It’s up to other first responders when they will be ready. I’m pretty proud of my crew for stepping up and taking it on.”