Late shipments from state force Maui virus vaccination delay

HONOLULU — More than 6,000 appointments for Maui residents waiting to receive doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been postponed by state delivery delays that will cause a temporary service disruption at the island’s sole community vaccine clinic.

Maui Health, which oversees Maui Memorial Medical Center’s vaccination clinic, announced Saturday it would be unable to provide doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that were scheduled to be administered beginning Sunday and lasting through Feb. 7.

Maui Health CEO Michael Rembis said the clinic would delay between 300 and 400 slots daily over the next three weeks after the state notified the company Friday it would not receive expected shipments over the weekend and throughout this week.

The company said in a statement that the state holdup was intended “to ensure that we have enough vaccine to provide the second dose to those who will require them over the next few weeks.”

The state Department of Health said Maui Health’s clinic should receive nearly 2,000 doses this week.

The Maui clinic will not take new appointments and will only administer second doses beginning Monday.

“We were really gearing up to vaccinate as many people as possible on Maui as quickly as possible, and the fact that we’ve seen a decrease in the availability is a huge disappointment for our community,” Rembis said.

Those affected by the postponement were notified by email and placed on a priority list to receive the Pfizer vaccine when the clinic can secure a sufficient supply, Maui Health said.

Those people will receive a link to a private booking portal to reschedule appointments, the company said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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