Hawai‘i Department of Health preparing for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to individual healthcare providers

Posted on Dec 24, 2020 in Newsroom

 Statewide survey is first step for efficient distribution

HONOLULU – With the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to Hawai‘i’s major hospitals already underway, these healthcare facilities in partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Health and Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i are now preparing to launch the next major step: distribution of the vaccine to doctors who have independent practices to ensure the vaccine is readily accessible and available to them.

According to the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, independent physicians and their office staff are designated as high-risk health workers, and should be among the first groups to be vaccinated.

“Independent providers are on the front lines of the health care system serving residents who fall within the high-risk groups,” said Health Director Dr. Libby Char. “Unfortunately, some doses of the federal allocations of the vaccine have been delayed by Operation Warp Speed, necessitating flexibility by the department, our healthcare partners and the community. We are doing our best to get as many doses of vaccine as we can to the hospitals, in order to vaccinate our front line healthcare workers.”

Access to vaccination for independent health care and allied health workers will occur through a combination of partnerships with hospitals and community-based points of distribution. These points of distribution will be coordinated in each county through partnerships with the counties and other health and community partners including the University of Hawai‘i.

“The Department of Health receives notice of our state’s allotment less than a week before each shipment is received. This makes it challenging to schedule vaccinations well in advance,” Dr. Char added. “We are optimistic we will continue to receive a good supply of vaccines from Operation Warp Speed and will get those doses out to the community as quickly as we can. We appreciate the assistance of hospitals stepping up to provide vaccination sites for our healthcare community.”

To assist with these operational challenges, the Department of Health recently issued a survey to independent healthcare providers to help ensure a smooth distribution and delivery of the vaccines. To date, more than 10,000 providers and staff representing over 1,300 practices have responded to the survey.

“The survey is vitally important for us to create a distribution plan that meets the needs of communities across our state,” Dr. Char said.

The survey for independent health care providers can be found online at: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=xt5HOLJj-UOm0FikCqoaEIIJjJU_6l1Ou62Wfal-6TdURDM1RlU0MTVNUTVIU1IyREhHQk03U0pVNy4u. Those who have already completed the survey and provided their information, should not submit it again.

Information gathered from the survey will be used to coordinate vaccinations with independent healthcare providers as vaccine supplies arrive. Online resources for clinicians in Hawai‘i are available at https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/for-clinicians/covid-19-vaccine/.

# # #

PDF: Hawai‘i Department of Health preparing for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to individual healthcare providers