The Hawaii Department of Health on Thursday unveiled its newest tool in its efforts to get more residents vaccinated — maps that show COVID-19 vaccination progress rates by ZIP code.
The COVID-19 vaccination progress maps are available on the DOH dashboard via the vaccine summary link by the Disease Outbreak Control Division, and a specific “MAP” tab. They can be filtered by county, as well as by vaccines initiated or vaccines completed.
They will be updated daily, according to the department, and will help identify “vaccine deserts.”
“The vaccine is our best tool to move forward together as a state,” said Dr. Sarah Kemble, acting state epidemiologist, in a news release. “These maps will allow us to work with partners to strategically schedule new vaccination clinics around the state. With this geographic information, we can deploy resources where they are needed most and bring the vaccine to where people live, work, and play.”
The maps show vaccination rates are higher in some areas than others, and that there is variation within one island.
On Oahu, for instance, there is a difference between the east and west sides, with generally higher vaccination rates on the east side.
The highest rates, at 70.1% having initiated vaccines, are in the Honolulu area, including ZIP codes 96813, as well as further east, at 96821, which includes Aina Haina.
On the windward side, Hauula, ZIP code 96717, is an exception, with at least 70.1% having initiated vaccines, while the neighborhood to the left, Laie, is only at 35% to 45%.
The map also shows that ZIP codes 96717, or Hauula, 96814 in Honolulu, and 96821 in East Honolulu have fully vaccinated rates of 70.1% or more.
Lowest areas that have initiated vaccines include Wahiawa and Kapolei, where the percentage that has initiated vaccines is at 35% or less.
Federal data, however, is not included in the maps, officials said, and thus, the Pearl Harbor area is left white, or blank, to denote this
On Maui, Hana has done really well, with at least 70.1% having initiated vaccines, while the Haiku area is between 35% to 40% having initiated vaccines.
The island of Lanai, 96763, is also doing well, with 70.1% or more having initiated vaccines.
Kauai, which leads the state in vaccination rates, with 57% having initiated doses, still has some areas, like Kaumakani, or 96747, where only 35% to 45% of the ZIP code has initiated doses.
“We want this data to promote health equity by identifying areas where people might be experiencing increased barriers to vaccination,” said Joshua Quint, an epidemiologist with the Disease Outbreak Control Division. “We encourage people to monitor these maps and use them to encourage their neighbors to get vaccinated. Areas with lower vaccination rates represent opportunities to try new strategies that make it more convenient for people to get vaccinated.”
Quint, who spearheaded the projected, added, “We are in a critical period where there is still ongoing community transmission. If more and more people continue to get vaccinated, we will prevent future outbreaks from causing unnecessary illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.”
As of Thursday, a total of 1,546,754 doses have been administered, up about 4,300 from Wednesday, according to the DOH dashboard.
Out of Hawaii’s total population of about 1.4 million, 52% have completed vaccinations, and 59% have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.