comscore Kokua Line: Oahu kupuna seek vaccine locations outside urban Honolulu, especially on the West side | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Oahu kupuna seek vaccine locations outside urban Honolulu, especially on the West side

Question: I wish there was more of the vaccine on the West side. It’s not that easy for some of us to get to town, which is where both the big sites are (Pier 2 and Blaisdell). They say the priority is 75 and up, but they should know that a lot of us kupuna really getting up in years don’t use the internet (where they make us make the appointment) and limit our driving to short trips.

Answer: It sounds like making an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccine at CVS/Longs or Kaiser Permanente might be more convenient for you, although you are correct that they, like other providers, steer people to online appointment systems.

Our checks Monday morning found appointments for people 75 and older available at CVS/Longs in Ewa Beach (West Oahu) and Aiea (Central Oahu), as well as in Honolulu and Kaneohe. On the neighbor islands they were listed as being available in Hilo, Kailua-Kona, Kahului and Kapaa.

To make an appointment, go to cvshealth.com, click on “Check vaccine availability in your area” at the top of the page, then choose Hawaii and answer a few questions to proceed to the scheduling page. Be forewarned that appointments fill quickly, so spots available Monday morning may be gone by today.

If you lack internet access, you can call CVS at 800-679-9691. After listening to the recorded greeting, press 1 for information about the COVID-19 vaccine and then ask to speak to an attendant; otherwise, the automated system will steer you online to make an appointment yourself. When an agent is available to help you, they will use the same scheduling system that customers with internet have access to. In other words, calling for an appointment is not quicker; it’s meant to assist those who can’t make the online appointment on their own.

You cannot walk into or call your local CVS/Longs for an appointment. Appointments must be made through the centralized system; the vaccinations are offered at only a few stores.

The federal government is expected to ship 10,380 vaccine doses directly to CVS/Longs this week as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, according to the state Department of Health.

Another potential option is Kaiser Permanente, which is planning a mass vaccination event at its Moanalua medical office on March 13, according to its website. You don’t have to be a Kaiser member to register, but nonmembers must follow a multistep process online to determine that they are eligible to be vaccinated (age 75 and older) and register for an appointment. You can find the details at kp.org/covidvaccine. Kaiser members eligible for vaccination also can go to that website to make an appointment.

Kaiser Permanente is currently vaccinating individuals in Phase 1-A (health care workers) and 1-B (front-line essential workers and individuals 75 and older), according to its website.

Q: I went online Monday to make an appointment for the Blaisdell, and it says they are all full. Until when?

A: No first-dose appointments for kupuna 75 and older are being scheduled online or by phone for that site until vaccine supplies are replenished. The Queen’s Health Systems, which runs the mass vaccination site at Blaisdell Center, did not say exactly when that would be.

“We are excited that more vaccine has arrived, but are careful to prioritize second doses to maximize the effectiveness of those vaccinated. Our caregivers are ready and can administer more doses than supply allows. As more vaccine arrives, we will schedule more appointments. The Queen’s Health Systems will honor all vaccine appointments at its hospitals and clinics this week. We constantly monitor our supply and are eagerly awaiting deliveries from Pfizer and Moderna so we can increase new appointments,” Jason Chang, Queen’s chief operating officer, said in an email.


Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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