COVID-19 vaccinations come to Longs Drugs

LIHU‘E — Beginning Thursday, CVS will begin accepting appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible populations at Longs Drugs locations, including the store in Kapa‘a.

The state is currently allowing vaccines of those in phases 1A and 1B, which include those in the health care sector, kupuna over 75, first responders and other front-line workers, like teachers and daycare workers.

Over 16,000 dosages of vaccine have been administered on Kaua‘i, Mayor Derek Kawakami reported on Wednesday, with those among phases 1A and 1B receiving second dosages.

Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman said taking a vaccine is a personal decision, but in her view as a public health physician and a pediatrician, “the benefits of vaccination, with a few exceptions, outweigh the risks.”

“Common effects of the vaccine include soreness in the arm where the vaccine was administered,” Berreman said. “Many people experience some level of fatigue, fever, and body aches after vaccination. These are an indication that the body’s immune system is reacting to the vaccine that the body is forming immunity. This is what a vaccine should do.”

Addressing hesitations, Berreman said that “a very small proportion of people” between 10 to 11 of 1,000,000 vaccinations will experience a “significant allergic” reaction, compared to the 10 of 100 who may require hospitalization from COVID-19.

“Symptoms develop within the first half-hour or so after receiving the vaccine,” Berreman said. “We take precautions to ensure vaccines can be given safely: Everyone must be observed at the vaccination site for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine, doctors and nurses monitor the observation site and have training and supplies to provide emergency medical support for allergic reactions.”

Berreman reiterated that the more people who get vaccinated provides “our clearest path to more normal lives.”

“We know the disease is world-wide, and it appears to be here to stay,” Berreman said.

On Kaua‘i, the District Health Office, local hospitals, pharmacy partners, Ho‘ola Lahui have been hosting vaccine distributions.

Appointments for vaccines at Longs Drugs can be made through CVS.com, the CVS app or 800-746-7287.

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