Hawaii could get first round of COVID vaccines in several weeks

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii health officials are hopeful the first round of COVID-19 vaccines could be distributed before the end of 2020. There are two vaccine candidates, one by Pfizer and the other by Moderna.

[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]

Pfizer submitted its application to the Federal Drug Administration on Nov. 20 for emergency use authorization. The vaccine is 95% effective, and if approved, 44,000 Hawaii residents could get the vaccine before Christmas.

“We think by mid-December we can be vaccinating people,” explained Lt. Gov. Dr. Josh Green on Nov. 21. “It could even come more quickly; we’ve been instructed to be ready with just 24-hours’ notice if they get approved when one starts shipping drugs.”

Green said Hawaii could get more or less than the 44,000 doses, but state health leaders are already planning phase one.

“First, it’s going to be health workers and our kupuna, and first responders, then it’s going to be the next big group of people that have health issues, immune problems, and so on that are vulnerable,” Green explained.

He said hospitals will know how many vaccines to order for their most at-risk healthcare workers.

“That’s usually the …

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