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Representative LoPresti Asks DOH Immunization Chief to Increase Vaccination Distribution

Letter to Balajadia offers assistance to reach populations lagging behind

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Representative Matthew S. LoPresti has written a letter to the State Department of Health (DOH) requesting and offering assistance in establishing more COVID-19 vaccination centers on the west side of O‘ahu.

In his March 18 letter to Ronald Balajadia, Chief of the Health Immunization Branch, LoPresti said recent news articles report that only8.8% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have received a COVID-19 vaccine and are dramatically disproportionately lagging behind in receiving vaccinations.

"With such large Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Filipino populations on the West Side of O‘ahu and specifically ‘Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Nanakuli, and Waiʻanae, I feel strongly more effort should be focused on establishing vaccination centers in these areas to accommodate those residents. Especially those who may not have the means or ability to travel considerable distances for their vaccination," LoPresti said in the letter.

LoPresti, (D-41, ʻEwa Villages, ʻEwa Beach, ʻEwa Gentry, Ocean Pointe), said currently, it seems the vast majority of vaccine locations are either in East O‘ahu or on the Windward side of the island. He believe it is vitally important that these areas on O‘ahu not be neglected and urged the DOH to do more in establishing vaccination centers in ‘Ewa and West O‘ahu.

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