Delayed shipment closes Maui vaccination clinic to first doses

Only second doses available at both local Moderna, Pfizer sites

Syringes are shown during a vaccination clinic at Maui Memorial Medical Center on Thursday. The hospital’s clinic is the only site on Maui currently taking new registrations from the public, but it may have to temporarily close Sunday afternoon if it doesn’t receive more doses today, officials said. — The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Maui’s only vaccination clinic taking new registrations announced Saturday it will have to close for a week due to a shortage of Pfizer-BioNTech doses that were slated to come from the state.

Maui Health, which oversees Maui Memorial Medical Center’s vaccination clinic, announced Saturday afternoon that it will close to first vaccinations that were scheduled Sunday through Feb. 7.

“Unfortunately, last evening we were informed by the state that we will not be receiving the expected shipment for this weekend and next week,” a news release said. “This is to ensure that we have enough vaccine to provide the second dose to those who will require them over the next few weeks.”

Individuals impacted by this first dose postponement were notified via email and placed on the priority list to receive the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine as soon as the clinic can “secure and maintain sufficient vaccine supply from the state,” the release said.

Once vaccines are secure, individuals will receive a link to a private booking portal — not VAMS — to reschedule the appointment.

Because of the shortage, the clinic will be closed Sunday. Starting Monday, the vaccine clinic will operate for already scheduled Pfizer second dose vaccinations only. Other changes include new clinic hours from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday only. The clinic will also close Monday, Jan. 25, the announcement said.

Although no new registrations are being accepted, if a resident has already submitted an appointment request form and is still having issues, email mh-covid-vaccine@kp.org.

Maui Health, which oversees Maui Memorial, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital, was operating the island’s sole community vaccine clinic in Maui Memorial’s main lobby daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The state Department of Health Maui District Health Office point of distribution site that administers Moderna vaccines at University of Hawaii Maui College closed last week to new registrations.

A Maui District official on Friday said the temporary closure will allow the site to administer second vaccinations to first responders and frontline health care workers who have already received their initial Moderna vaccines.

Since the vaccine clinic at the hospital began Jan. 8, it had administered more than 3,000 doses to community members and more than 1,000 doses to employees and providers.

“We have had many employees volunteer their time to provide our community the extra guidance they need,” the release said. “Our residents have expressed their gratitude for our assistance, quick access to vaccination and even the assistance of our valet parking team.”

Maui Health added it is working to obtain enough doses to run its community clinic.

“We know this is frustrating,” the release said. “Please know that we are tirelessly advocating for Maui to ensure we receive our fair share of vaccines so that any Maui community member who wants to be vaccinated, can be.”


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