UHPA has received a number of inquiries from Unit 7 Faculty Members about the State of Hawaii’s plans on the COVID-19 vaccination roll out and when Unit 7 Faculty Members can expect to be able to register and obtain a vaccination if they choose.
Vaccine distribution is outside of our legal authority
The State of Hawaii, Department of Health, has been put in charge of the Statewide effort and is the sole authority in making decisions on priority and vaccine distribution. Unfortunately, UHPA does not have any legal right to assert a role or authority on these matters since it is outside the realm of collective bargaining.
But we’re working on a plan with President Lassner
Nevertheless, UHPA has been in communications with UH President David Lassner and other UH Administrators in trying to obtain information on the Stateʻs plans for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccinations as it applies to University of Hawaii employees, including Faculty. The response UHPA has received was that the UH Administration is currently working on a plan. On Thursday Jan 14, President Lassner sent this email regarding their plans.
Faculty might be considered “Frontline”
The presentation by the Department of Health (January 5, 2021) states that the State is in Phase 1b: Frontline Essential Workers includes “Teachers and childcare and educational support staff (childcare, preschool, early education, K-12, post-secondary).” The presentation can be found in this recent Civil Beat Article.
Oahu not clear on what deployment phase we are in
In a recent Hawaii News Now report dated January 12, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) is now stating that the priority groups could now depend on where you live. DOH is stating that the priority groups and pace of the vaccination effort will not be consistent across the State. As an example, on the island of Kauai nearly 500 educators received a vaccination this past Monday. However, on Oahu they are still working on vaccinating frontline caregivers and first responders. On the Windward side of Oahu, Castle Adventist Health has now started Phase 1b and has been offering vaccination to residents age 75 and older and educators who live in areas with Windward Oahu zip codes. The DOH further stated that “Movement through various phases of the vaccination plan will vary from island to island due to population differences, operational considerations and available resources.”
We will keep you posted when new information comes in
There are other resources and information that is available to the general public that UHPA has been monitoring. The DOH has a dedicated website on the COVID-19 vaccination plans and provides updated vaccine information. As more information becomes available to UHPA that pertains specifically to vaccination of Unit 7 Faculty Members, we will be sure to share such information promptly.
Join a live conversation on UH’s coronavirus vaccination effort
On Friday 1/15, UH supplied the below information to UHPA and we are redistributing to assist participation efforts:
Vax Facts UH
Science, Safety & Society
Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 3:00 pm Hawai‘i Time
Please register and submit questions or comments HERE.
During this special UH forum, state officials and specialists from JABSOM in vaccine development, clinical trials, and public health will provide up-to-date information on vaccine prioritization, logistics, efficacy, and safety. Find out how and when to get vaccinated, how to communicate accurate information to your students, and get answers to any other questions you might have.
Our physician panelists include Lee Buenconsejo-Lum, JABSOM Associate Dean; Sandra Chang, JABSOM faculty and expert in vaccine development, and Lieutenant Governor Josh Green.
Sponsors of this conversation include: Better Tomorrow Speaker Series, College of Social Sciences, UH Mānoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Kamehameha Schools, Office of the Provost, Office of Public Health Studies, William S. Richardson School of Law.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.