As of January, Hawaii’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan had aimed to start vaccinating people 65 and older in March. Instead, officials with the Department of Health said Friday they plan to expand the pool of vaccine recipients to include people 70 and older sometime “soon.”

Registration is not yet open for that 70-and-older cohort and there was no indication of when it will be in a news release from state Health Director Libby Char.

“We’re not ready to go into Phase 1c yet,” Char said. “But soon, we’d like to welcome those 70 and older to get vaccinated. We know we still have kupuna and frontline essential workers waiting to be vaccinated.”

Pharmacist Davis Zheng fills syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. January 5, 2021
Pharmacist Davis Zheng fills a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on January 5, 2021. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Currently seniors age 75 and older, health care workers and people who qualify as essential workers are eligible for the vaccine as part of phases 1a and 1b.

Severe winter weather has delayed shipments of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Hawaii and across the country.

The backlog of more than 50,000 doses is expected to arrive next week, according to health department officials.

An Important Note

If you consider nonprofit, independent news to be an essential service that helps keep our community informed, please include Civil Beat among your year-end contributions.

And for those who can, consider supporting us with a monthly gift, which helps keep our content free for those who need it most.

This year, we are making it our goal to raise $225,000 in reader support by December 31, to support our news coverage statewide and throughout the Pacific. Are you ready to help us continue this work?

About the Author