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More options for vaccinations: Bay Clinic initially aims to administer 80 doses a week

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Ron Shinno poses with a sticker after receiving the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday at the Hilo Adult Day Center. Shinno is a caregiver for his mother-in-law and was eager to get the vaccine to keep her safe.

More options for COVID-19 vaccinations are now available in East Hawaii.

Bay Clinic is providing COVID-19 vaccines two days a week and is listed as a vaccination site option on the federal government’s vaccine administration management system.

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“We’re very excited,” CEO Kimo Alameda said.

Focus will be on kupuna 75 and older and essential workers, he said. The vaccinations are open to the public.

Bay Clinic will “be seeing patients who are not traditionally ours, but at this point we’re just trying to help our (community),” Alameda said.

A link to register will soon be available on hawaiicounty.gov/vaccination, the county’s centralized site for vaccine information.

Vaccines are being administered Thursdays and Fridays at the Bay Clinic administration office on Kilauea Avenue, where one of the units has been turned into a clinic specifically for COVID-19 testing and inoculations.

Bay Clinic’s goal is to administer 80 vaccinations per week, but administrators are hoping to double that. Alameda said Bay Clinic is looking for another site in Hilo to expand to four days a week.

Alameda said Bay Clinic is offering the Moderna vaccine, but has sub-zero freezers ordered and could offer the Pfizer vaccine in the future, if available.

According to Alameda, Bay Clinic is one of 14 federally qualified health centers in the state, and vaccine allocations come directly from the state Department of Health. Bay Clinic is working with both the DOH and Hawaii Primary Care Association to ensure a steady supply.

“I think we fulfill a gap that the state leaves behind,” Alameda said.

Bay Clinic also is partnering with Ka‘u Rural Health Community Association and others to offer vaccines in the district.

Alameda said a vaccination event will be held in the coming weeks targeting Ka‘u’s 75-plus population.

Hilo Medical Spokeswoman Elena Cabatu said most vaccination sites are registering people using the federal VAMS system.

Once people are in the system, they can select a vaccination site, she said. She urged people not to make multiple reservations.

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“The recommendation, though, is to make sure where they get one shot, they get the second shot at the same place to help us keep track of supply and demand,” Cabatu said.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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