(BIVN) – As state lawmakers meet virtually to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine, local hospitals are holding practice clinics for the time when the vaccine is available on Hawaiʻi island.
On Thursday in Kealakekua, Kona Community Hospital conducted a successful trial run of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. The clinic was run in real-time, hospital officials say, in preparation for the hospital’s large scale vaccination campaign that is slated to launch once the FDA gives emergency use authorization for the vaccine.
“Thursday’s run-through was very successful,” said Lisa Downing, RN, BSN, Employee Health and Infection Prevention Director. “Employees from Registration, nursing, education and IT all took part in the mock clinic. This allowed us to identify a few gaps and tighten up our processes,” she said.
On Friday, a joint House and Senate committee hearing received an informational briefing on the COVID-19 vaccines, including a summary of the vaccine trial and the FDA approval process.
The Senate Health Committee and the newly created House Committee on Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness heard from different health department working groups on the State Vaccination Plan.
Hawaiʻi expects to distribute an expected 81,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations in the month of December to high-risk health care workers and long-term care facilities across the state.
When the time comes, Kona Community Hospital says it will be providing vaccinations to all West Hawaii Region employees, including those at Kona Community Hospital, Kohala Hospital, the Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center and affiliated staff at Alii Health Center.
“I am so proud of our team,” Downing said, “We are ready to manage a mass vaccination clinic for healthcare workers, and ultimately our community, if needed.”