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Service providers fear Hawaii’s vaccination effort is failing to reach Pacific Islander communities

Hawaii vaccine timeline graphic
Source: Honolulu Civil Beat

Honolulu, HAWAII — As Hawaii continues its mass vaccination effort, advocates worry that Pacific Islander communities don’t have adequate access to vaccines.

Non-Hawaiian Pacific Islanders – particularly Chuukese, Marshallese and Samoan communities — make up 23% of Hawaii’s coronavirus cases, even though they’re just 4% of the population.

Some advocates say the state should put Pacific Islanders on its priority list since the communities have suffered disproportionately from the coronavirus — and they question whether the state is doing enough to reach Pacific Islander communities.

Vaccine registration pages are in English — and the websites can be hard to navigate for those who aren’t computer savvy.

These communities are more at risk of getting COVID-19 in Hawaii in part because many hold front-line jobs and live in crowded households. State officials say by prioritizing certain occupations, these communities will by extension get priority access to the vaccine.

But without better data, it’s not clear whether that’s happening. 

Read more at Civil Beat