Big Island kupuna will find it a bit easier to get their Covid-19 vaccines these days, thanks to KTA Super Stores. The locally owned and operated grocery chain announced this week that it is now offering in-store vaccinations to those aged 75 and up. The Moderna vaccines will be offered at the four KTA Pharmacy locations including Puainako (Hilo) Waimea, Waikoloa, and Keauhou (Kona). The KTA Covid vaccination effort got under way this week.
To schedule an appointment, kupuna should call their home pharmacy and choose Option 6. There they will be able to leave their information and will receive a call back to schedule an appointment. Appointments will be scheduled in the order in which the initial call was received. An online scheduling portal is also in the works and should be available on KTA’s Pharmacy website next week. Note that the Puainako and Keauho locations have a longer waiting list than the other locations.
During the appointments, vaccine recipients and their companions must adhere to social distancing and masking protocols. In addition, every recipient will be required to stay at the pharmacy for a minimum 15-minute observation period after they receive the vaccination. Patients should bring a form of ID and insurance card, if they have one.
“We are really excited to be able to offer these in-store vaccinations at our KTA pharmacies. Our goal is to get everyone taken care of as safely and quickly as possible. That said, it is a process, and we ask that everyone be patient, both with scheduling and at their appointments,” said KTA Super Stores Director of Pharmacy, Kerri Okamura, R.Ph.
These vaccinations will help to bring some relief to the overburdened hospitals who have been administering the vaccine. KTA Covid vaccination efforts have been underway for a few weeks. The pharmacy team has been participating in other efforts to vaccinate the Island’s most vulnerable citizens. In partnership with Hawaii Department of Health, KTA has been administering vaccines in adult care facilities and through drive thru events for eligible recipients. They have also been working with Big Island Docs to facilitate vaccinations at their clinics.