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New Incentives to Get Vaccinated

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

No new Molokai cases were logged last week, while vaccination efforts are ramping up, with Molokai General Hospital offering incentives for those who get vaccinated at the hospital.

MGH announced last week it has resumed vaccinations by appointment after hours at the Outpatient Clinic, this time with extra enticement. The hospital is offering free $10 gas cards for all those who get vaccinated at MGH between April 22 and July 31. Additionally, two drawings will be held to win a trip for two to Las Vegas. The first drawing was held on May 3 for the first 1000 individuals that received their vaccine at MGH between Jan. 21 and March 25. A second winner will be announced after an Aug. 2 drawing, open to the second 1000 individuals that received their vaccine at MGH between March 26 and July 31.

“There’s a huge stall [getting vaccinations on Molokai] and even though we’ve been doing between 10 and 20 a day in the clinic, I think we need to take it up,” said Janice Kalanihuia, MGH president.

To make an appointment or for more information, call the MGH Outpatient Clinic at 553-3121.

Administration of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine has resumed in Hawaii and nationally after it was paused for 11 days while the U.S. government examined the risk of blood clots that developed in a small number of people who received it.

Officials determined the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19, the risk of blood clots is very low, and the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh any risk.

“The pause and thorough safety review demonstrates the commitment we all share in ensuring vaccine safety,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “We are excited Johnson & Johnson will again play an important role in the fight against COVID-19.”

Helen Kekalia Wescoatt, CEO of Molokai Community Health Center, said last Friday she received confirmation that the Health Center will be receiving 100 doses of the J&J vaccine this week and it will be available to the Molokai public at their weekly Thursday and Friday clinic, along with the Moderna shot.

Additionally, Molokai health officials are working to try to get Pfizer vaccines on Molokai so that 16 and 17-year-old residents can get vaccinated. Moderna and J&J are only approved for those aged 18 and older, while Pfizer can be administered to those 16 and over.

“We are working with DOH for Molokai to receive a freezer for the Pfizer vaccine so that the 16 and 17-year-old population has access to the vaccine as well,” said Wescoatt.

Pfizer vaccine is more difficult to store and handle because it requires super-cold temperatures — storage at about minus 94 degrees F.


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