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Kokua Line: Why don’t federal and state figures on Hawaii’s vaccination rate match?

Question: Thanks for the links to Hawaii’s vaccination rates (808ne.ws/kline518), but why are the federal and state numbers different?

Answer: The state Department of Health cannot yet explain discrepancies in state and federal reporting on Hawaii’s vaccination rates. It is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine why the data doesn’t match and to reconcile the figures, Janice Okubo, a DOH spokeswoman, said in an email Wednesday.

The state DOH’s data tracker (808ne.ws/dohtrack) said 55% of Hawaii’s population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Wednesday, and 46% had completed their full vaccine regimen.

By contrast, the most recent State Profile Report from the CDC said that 60% of Hawaii’s population had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by May 14, and 42% of the state’s population was fully vaccinated by that date, meaning it had been at least two weeks since their completion dose. Find Hawaii’s reports on the CDC’s national vaccine tracker page, at 808ne.ws/vactrack.

Tim Sakahara, a spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, said the administration is aware of the discrepancy and expects that it will be resolved shortly.

Having full, accurate and timely data about Hawaii’s COVID-19 vaccination rates is vital, especially as officials consider incorporating vaccination rates into Honolulu County’s tiered reopening strategy.

State and county officials said that what data to use is under discussion and that officials would be transparent about any decision. While the state DOH issues vaccination tallies for the county level, those counts don’t necessarily include every shot administered; some vaccination records outside the state’s jurisdiction are left out. The CDC, meanwhile, generally issues statewide data, not the county-level data needed to assess progress under a tiered reopening strategy.

Auwe

Auwe to the driver who dropped off a student in the middle of the five- or six-lane road at the speed hump crosswalk on Fort Weaver Road near Ilima Intermediate School and the entrance to Campbell High School Monday around 7:40 a.m. The student walked around the stopped car in the crosswalk to the school side of the street. A crosswalk is not a drop-off point, speed hump or not. You put your child at risk. — R.Y.

Mahalo

A big mahalo to Kainoa and John of NCNS Environmentals, who helped me change my flat tire when I was stranded in the middle of nowhere. Their invaluable assistance allowed me to return to my home without incident. Hawaii truly has the best people in the world. — Helpless driver

Mahalo

Mahalo to Gov. Ige for being cautious and keeping the mask mandate until a better way is developed to identify who is vaccinated. Many of us (over 50) have lived through a range of viruses and we are very aware of the long-term effects and secondary diseases the viruses have left us, and we didn’t know we would be impacted by the original virus until years later. For example, many of us who have had chickenpox as a child have had to deal with shingles over our adult lives. Some of us have had shingles multiple times and it has been a painful and frustrating experience because there was no effective treatment for many years. It took 35-plus years to develop a vaccine for shingles and some folks who took the vaccine still got shingles, although not as severe. So, a group of us want to say: “Don’t be hasty about abandoning your mask. What’s another six months to a year versus the rest of your life of suffering from a secondary disease related to COVID?” Thank you, Gov. Ige, for being methodical. — Grateful senior


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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