Hawaii’s first batch of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived on Monday, the state Health Department said.

On Monday Hawaii received its first shipment of 12,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Moderna. Half of the shipment will be distributed to neighbor islands. Courtesy: Department of Health

Half of the 12,000 doses will remain on Oahu. The remaining 6,000 doses in the shipment will be divided equally and delivered to Maui, Kauai and Hawaii counties.

Hawaii is expected to receive 36,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of the year in addition to nearly 46,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, according to Hawaii Health Department Director Dr. Libby Char.

This gives Hawaii 86,000 vaccine doses by the end of the year.

The Pfizer vaccine will initially be given to Hawaii’s health care workers, while the Moderna vaccine will be distributed to residents and staff of the state’s long-term care facilities.

Eventually, Hawaii residents will have a choice over which vaccine they want to receive, said Brooks Baehr, spokesman for the DOH. But in the near term, while vaccine supply is limited, choice of vaccine will not be possible, he said.

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