Hawaii County first responders received the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday morning at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo.
The vaccinations were administered by the state Department of Health in collaboration with the county, according to a statement from Mayor Mitch Roth’s office.
An estimated 200 first responders received a vaccination.
Vaccinations were administered via a two-lane drive-through to adhere to county and state social distancing orders and mandates.
A second round of first responder vaccinations is planned today for West Hawaii.
The preliminary vaccination of first responders follows “Phase 1a” of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, giving preference to those whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
“It is a relief to know that we are doing all we can to better protect our first responders from the threat of COVID-19,” said Roth in the statement. “The bravery and honor that they have exhibited over the course of the past year has been a true testament to their commitment of ensuring the health and safety of our community.
“Although there will be a follow-up booster shot required before the vaccine is considered fully administered, this is a phenomenal first step in protecting our communities and ridding our county, our state and our country of the virus once and for all.”