HONOLULU — Hawaii’s leaders said Tuesday limited supply is the main thing constraining distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Hawaii received 59,000 doses of the vaccine last week, but expects to get only about 32,000 this week.
Still, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the state expects to be able to vaccinate everyone in the top priority category — health care workers, long-term care facility residents, people over 75 ,and teachers and other frontline essential workers — by the end of next month.
Department of Health Director Dr. Libby Char said it’s difficult to plan for vaccinations because the federal government has been notifying the state every Thursday of its allocation for the next week. She said the federal government is distributing vaccine to each state in accordance with their share of the U.S. population.
“We are in a situation where demand far exceeds supply. And so I want to encourage everyone to be patient as the vaccine rolls out,” Gov. David Ige said at a news conference.
Information on how to register for vaccine shots is available at https://hawaiicovid19.com/vaccination-registration/ online.
Separately, Ige said he has appointed Laura Acacio to fill the state Senate seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, a Democrat who is Hawaii’s newest member of Congress. Ige described Acacio as a public school educator and engaged community leader active on education and the protection of oceans and environment.
Ige said Acacio will join the state Senate as it convenes for a new legislative session on Wednesday.
The governor selected her from a list of three candidates presented by local Democratic Party officials in Hilo, the district she will represent.