Kaua’i County widens vaccine distrubutions for Kupuna

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    The Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Kaua‘i Region “COVID19 Team” of Sherry Lauer and Cheryl Tennberg encourage people to get vaccinated, Wednesday outside the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital where the flag fly at half-staff after the nation recorded 500,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus.

  • Courtesy of Wilcox Health

    A nurse at Wilcox Health checks on the dosage of the Pfizer COVID19 vaccine.

LIHU‘E —Kaua’i hospitals started vaccinating our kupuna aged 75 and older as of Jan.15, and now local Hawai’i State Dept. of Health clinics are focusing on vaccinating frontline essential workers.

The Kaua’i hospitals administers vaccines to kupuna aged 75 and older.

The Jan. 15 COVID-19 video update states “Wilcox Medical Center in Līhu‘e has begun administering the Pfizer vaccine to adults ages 75 and older. The vaccine clinics will be open to anyone 75 years of age or older.”

The video further states, Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea and Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital in Kapa‘a is also offering vaccination clinics for those 75 and older.

“The demand for the vaccine has been extremely high and we’re pleased to add two more days for our kupuna to help protect them from the COVID-19 virus,” said Jen H. Chahanovich, president and CEO of Wilcox Medical Center and CEO of Kaua‘i Medical Clinic.

As of this printing, the Depart. of Health said 59% percent of kupuna aged 75 or older, have received at least one dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. Saturday, Wilcox Medical Center on Kaua’i reported 3,955 vaccinations completed as part of statewide statistics provided by Hawai’i Pacific Health.

Saturday’s total, when they widened the distribution of the rollout for Kaua’i, hasn’t been completely tabulated for the county of Kaua’i.

Wednesday, KVMH and Mahelona Memorial Hospital reported a combined total of 1,781 first doses administered and 1,670 second doses administered, as well as 401 employees who received vaccinations.

Charlene Quinones, a 75-year-old resident who lives in Kapa’a and received her shot at Mahelona Medical Center, said the process of getting inoculated was relatively easy.

“They were very prepared, organized and quick, and they gave thorough instructions before and after the shot,” Quinones said.

Naomi Tamashiro, a 69-year-old, who received her shot as a caregiver, also was impressed with the level of organization.

“They double checked you were registered and had an appointment,” Tamashiro said. “After the shot, they made sure you waited there for 15 minutes and even provided snacks.”

Kaua’i County anticipates there will be barriers for some kupuna that want the COVID-19 vaccine.

The county is offering assistance through mobile vaccinations for kupuna that are homebound.

According to Dr. Janet Berreman, District Health Officer for the Kaua‘i District Health Office Hawai‘i Depart. of Health, being vaccinated is a step toward being able to engage in in-person activities.

The Agency of Elderly affairs told The Garden Island, there haven’t been any problems with the rollout.

“We also encourage family and friends to assist kupuna, and to continue to follow local media and the County’s COVID-19 updates on Facebook and //Kauai.gov/covid-19.”

The number of vaccines given are increasing every week, and also stated she anticipates the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be available as soon as early March.

The Kaua’i Health District Office expounded on expounded on Kupuna.

“In addition, vaccination will allow kupuna to engage in in-person activities such as visiting with family members and interacting with peers with more assurance of safety,” The District Health office said in a written statement.

Where to get vaccines

Kupuna can get more information by calling the Agency on Elderly Affairs at (808) 241-4470.

However, they cannot help if no appointments are available or you are not yet eligible.

To sign up at one of these locations, please visit the websites below— Longs in Kapa‘a: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine, Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital (KVMH) in Waimea: https://kauai.hhsc.org/, Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital in Kapa‘a: https://kauai.hhsc.org/, or Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Līhuʻe: http://wilcoxhealth.org/Vaccine.


Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Susan Hawker-Johnson February 25, 2021 12:11 pm Reply

    I’m 71 and have been patiently waiting for the age to be dropped to 70 and up. When is that going to happen? I’m so afraid Of this virus and want to get vaccinated as soon as possible. My husband who is (78) had registered us and the day we went for our vaccinations they said they were no longer accepting care givers….that would me! I’m grateful my husband has gotten his vaccination. Plus I have been following all of the guidelines religiously. Pleased let those of us 70 and up know when we can get our vaccines. I know someone who is 65 and perfectly healthy, retired, who has already gotten her vaccination.

    1. Mr.Ford February 25, 2021 9:19 pm Reply

      Don’t be scared. It’s only properganda and is a scare task from those who have power and money, that want to bring in a New World Order. They are deceivers and will do anything for you to be cowed into there look into God’s world. They dont like God’s world because they don’t believe in a life after this life. Look at Walt Disney, he frozen his’ body because he is not a Believer but a Unbeliever. Thinking that time will solve cure of death and we can live forever.

  2. Chris O February 25, 2021 3:14 pm Reply

    Your lede is confusing. Residents 75+ have been getting Covid-19 vaccines well before the Feb 23 date you cite. In fact, as you note in graf four, 59% of kupuna 75+ have received at least one shot. Clearly that hasn’t happened since Feb 23. What you need is an estimate of when the 75+ tranche may be completed and attention shifted to 65 or 70+. Mahalo.
    chris o

  3. Citizen Cane February 25, 2021 3:24 pm Reply

    Hawaii is in the lower 1/2 of states as far as %age of available doses used (73%) according to recent NYT reporting. Meaning that vaccinations need to keep up better with supply—ie. that we need a more efficient distribution system. West Virginia is near the top at 85%, and they’ve been getting it done by using the National Guard.

  4. Chris O February 25, 2021 3:54 pm Reply

    Re my earlier … thank you for fixing the story.

  5. I saw a Vampire once February 25, 2021 10:32 pm Reply

    On the elderlies, their immune system is lowered. So the vaccine helps support their bodies immune system. This does not take into account the virus getting into the body by way of breathing. If they don’t use face mask, that won’t help. Also a healthy person wards off viruses much better than kupunas. Will the person’s family sue the hospital is the grandpa dies? Just asking.

  6. I saw a Vampire once February 25, 2021 10:35 pm Reply

    “If” the Grandpa…

    Typos or my iPhone changes my grammar. Big deal on my iPhone correcting my verb or subject.

  7. Dane McDaniels February 26, 2021 6:05 am Reply

    It is a good idea to look at the side effect of these vaccines. You are far more likely to die or be injured from the vaccine than from the disease itself.

    1. Citizen Cane February 26, 2021 2:01 pm Reply

      You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own science. The CDC has yet to identify a single death caused by a Covid vaccine. You may be feeling like you don’t need one right now but get real: we’re on borrowed time, living in a bubble surrounded by a moat. The causal connection to any side effects are minor and passing, and limited to 2-10 per 1 million doses—extremely rare and manageable.

    2. Aloha Aina February 26, 2021 2:58 pm Reply

      What is your source apart from Reddit and Youtube hear say?

  8. james February 26, 2021 6:37 am Reply

    How long can it take to vaccinate the 75+ population? This should have been completed by now and we should be far into the 65+ age group like many other states. What’s the hang-up? Let’s get moving!

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