DOH vaccination outreach effort hits Kona neighborhoods

  • Public Health nurse Linda McLaughlin passes out information about Saturday’s vaccination clinic at Kealakehe Intermediate School to Elizabeth Martin and Jim Hutzelman Thursday at their Queen Liliuokalani Village home. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

A dedicated group led by the state Department of Health is spreading the word about an upcoming COVID vaccination clinic in Kona by pounding the pavement and knocking on doors.

Thursday marked the group’s fifth community outreach effort to inform residents about Saturday’s clinic at Kealakehe Intermediate School. The outreach workers, including interpreters and members of the Medical Reserve Corps, canvassed the entire Kealakehe neighborhood, Queen Liliuokalani Village and Coastview/Wonderview subdivisions, handing out fliers and encouraging residents 18 and older to attend the free clinic. They also distributed disposable masks and emergency preparedness brochures for the upcoming hurricane season.


“We are spreading the word, going house to house answering questions and educating residents,” said Public Health Nurse Linda McLaughlin.

Although no appointment is necessary for the Saturday clinic, workers were registering interested individuals on the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS). If no one was home when visiting a residence, a flier was left on the door encouraging participation in the vaccination effort and visiting or calling 808-300-1120 to register.

Some 500 vaccines will be available at the clinic from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

DOH will be using the Moderna vaccine for this clinic, with a second dose scheduled for June 12. Participants are asked to bring a photo ID and must be age 18 or older.

As mega clinics are slowing down, the DOH is looking to hold neighborhood clinics in the future. The clinics at Kekuaokalani Gym, hosted by the department, Kona Community Hospital and West Hawaii Community Health Center with support from the Hawaii National Guard, Civil Defense and county Parks and Recreation staff last week reached 26,000 doses administered.

The department is still conduct its Wednesday clinic at Kekuaokalani Gym. On May 19 and 26, it will administer the single-dose Johnson &Johnson vaccine.


In June, the department will shift clinic operations to the second and fourth Thursday of the month at Makaeo Pavilion. For those clinics, the department will offer the two-dose Moderna vaccine.

Email Laura Ruminski at

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