© 2023 Hawaiʻi Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Slow intake rate for COVID-19 2nd booster. Monkeypox vaccines administered to close contacts

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

Hawaiʻi’s COVID-19 case numbers are declining — but state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble says the rate of decline is slow.

There have been an average of 651 cases a day in the past week. There were 164 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday.

Deaths are occurring predominantly in older age groups.

Those ages 50 and older, and those 12 and older with compromised immune systems are eligible for a second booster shot. About 25% of Hawaiʻi residents ages 50 and older have received their second booster.

State health officials are also responding to monkeypox cases among Hawaiʻi residents.

The state Department of Health has received 357 doses of the FDA-approved JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine. Two doses are taken 28 days apart.

The vaccine supply is currently limited. It has only been administered to those who have monkeypox and people in close contact with positive cases.

There are currently six confirmed cases of monkeypox in Hawaiʻi. The cases are connected and all on Oʻahu.

Deputy state epidemiologist Nathan Tan says additional doses will arrive in the coming weeks.

"In the second phase, our distribution plan, broader vaccination of people who may be at risk of severe illness or future exposure will be considered," Tan said. "The federal government is ramping up production of JYNNEOS. It expects more than 1.6 million doses to be made available nationwide this year."

The DOH does not yet know when the vaccine will become more widely available.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
Related Stories