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As the aloha state welcomes visitors back, many are wondering what percentage of Hawaii’s population is vaccinated against COVID-19. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: around 70% of Hawaii’s population has received at least one vaccine dose as of December 2022.

In this comprehensive article, we will analyze Hawaii’s vaccination rates across different groups and islands. We’ll explore factors influencing vaccine uptake and progress towards herd immunity goals.

With tourism rebounding, understanding community immunity levels provides insight into Hawaii’s readiness to handle further waves or new variants.

Vaccination Rates for Hawaii Overall and by Island

Overall Vaccination Progress

Hawaii has made good progress on COVID-19 vaccinations, with over 75% of the total population fully vaccinated as of December 2022 according to the state health department. This gives Hawaii one of the highest vaccination rates in the United States.

Wide availability of vaccines across the islands and vaccine mandates for many employees have helped drive high vaccination numbers.

Vaccination rates did hit a plateau over the summer and fall of 2022 as the initial urgency wore off. However, the emergence of new Omicron subvariants like BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 in late 2022 and renewed boosting campaigns spurred an increase in booster shot rates in recent months.

Health officials remain confident that continued high vaccination coverage will help minimize serious illness and death from COVID-19 going forward.

Vaccination Rates by County/Island

Vaccination rates do vary somewhat across the different counties and islands of Hawaii:

  • Kauai County has the highest full vaccination rate at over 80% as of December 2022.
  • Maui County follows closely behind at 75% fully vaccinated.
  • Hawaii Island and Honolulu County have full vaccination rates around 70%.

The differences in vaccination rates likely stem from geographic and demographic factors. Kauai’s small and isolated population may have felt a greater need for community protection through herd immunity.

Meanwhile, Hawaii Island and Honolulu have larger and more diverse populations, leading vaccine hesitancy to be higher in certain groups. Still, all counties have achieved strong vaccination coverage overall.

County Fully Vaccinated %
Kauai 81%
Maui 75%
Hawaii 72%
Honolulu 69%

Continued outreach and vaccine availability will be key to driving rates higher across all islands. But the people of Hawaii should be proud of the excellent vaccination progress made so far, which will curb the COVID-19 impact going into 2023 and beyond 👍.

Vaccination Rates Among Different Age Groups

Senior citizens

Hawaii’s senior citizens have had high COVID-19 vaccination rates, with over 90% of those 65 and older receiving at least one dose as of December 2022 according to the state health department’s statistics.

This fantastic news shows our kūpuna taking the public health threat seriously and doing their part to protect themselves and others.

The highest vaccination rates among seniors are found on some islands like Lanai, where an impressive 98% of that population is vaccinated with at least one dose. Neighbor islands tend to have slightly higher senior vaccination rates overall compared to Oahu.


Adult vaccination rates for COVID-19 in Hawaii have been lower than for seniors but are still relatively strong. As of late 2022, over 85% of adults ages 18-64 have received at least one vaccine dose statewide.

Vaccination rates among working-age adults do show more variance across counties. Some rural areas on Hawaii Island and Molokai have adult vaccination levels below 70%, while highly populated areas of Oahu and Maui are above 85%.

Efforts to improve access and education around vaccines have had success reaching more adults in 2022 and 2023.

Teenagers and children

Hawaii initially lagged behind vaccination rates for teenagers but has caught up quicker with younger kids. As of December 2022, around 75% of children ages 5-11 have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. For ages 12-17, over 85% now have at least initial vaccination.

Vaccine access expanded to cover young children more recently. State health officials have partnered with schools and community organizations to host family-friendly vaccination clinics. This aims to educate parents and make the process easier for busy families.

Efforts also encourage teenagers to get boosted for added protection.

Factors Influencing Hawaii’s Vaccine Uptake

Tourism Industry Impact

As a popular tourist destination, Hawaii’s economy relies heavily on tourism. In 2019, over 10 million visitors came to the Hawaiian islands, spending over $17 billion (😲). However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought tourism to a screeching halt in 2020.

Without tourists, many businesses and workers suffered greatly. This motivated Hawaii’s leaders to reopen tourism as quickly and safely as possible through vaccine promotion. By achieving one of the highest vaccination rates in the US, Hawaii has been able to welcome back tourists while protecting public health.

Geographic Accessibility

Hawaii’s remote island geography poses unique vaccination challenges. While Oahu has several large population centers with good health infrastructure, more rural islands like Lanai and Molokai lack hospitals and face geographic barriers to vaccination access.

Outreach efforts like mobile clinics, transportation assistance, and targeted messaging have aimed to boost vaccination rates across all the islands. Still, geographic and infrastructural limitations persist, especially on less populated islands.

Public Health Messaging

Hawaii’s public health agencies have communicated strong, unified messaging about the safety and importance of COVID-19 vaccination. Respected community leaders like medical professionals and politicians have also voiced consistent messages.

This coordinated effort has built public trust and confidence in the vaccines. Clear communication has countered misinformation and hesitancy, enabling Hawaii to achieve a high statewide vaccination rate with coverage across all major ethnic groups.

Progress Towards Herd Immunity in Hawaii

Hawaii has made steady progress towards achieving herd immunity against COVID-19 through its vaccination efforts. As of December 2022, around 76% of Hawaii’s population has been fully vaccinated. This places Hawaii among the top 10 US states with the highest vaccination rates.

Experts estimate that a vaccination rate of at least 70-90% is needed to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19. At 76%, Hawaii is approaching, but has not yet reached, the lower bound of this estimate. Several factors continue to impede Hawaii’s progress:

  • Children under 5 years remain ineligible for vaccination
  • Booster shot uptake has been inconsistent
  • Ongoing vaccine hesitancy among some demographic groups

On a positive note, Hawaii has outpaced most other states in vaccinating several high-risk groups. Over 90% of Hawaii seniors aged 65+ have completed their initial vaccine series. Still, booster shot rates within this group lag at around 50%.

Geographic Disparities

Vaccination rates vary significantly across Hawaii’s counties and islands:

County Fully Vaccinated
Honolulu County 80%
Hawaii County 68%
Maui County 74%
Kauai County 71%

In particular, Hawaii Island (Hawaii County) continues to lag behind other islands in vaccination rates. Public health agencies cite access issues and higher rates of vaccine hesitancy as contributing factors.

The Path Forward

Reaching herd immunity in Hawaii will require both improving access and overcoming hesitancy. Expanding eligibility for children and boosters will also help increase population immunity. According to the Hawaii Department of Health, the state is well-equipped with vaccination capacity should demand increase.

Maintaining high vaccination rates will be key as new variants continue to emerge.


While Hawaii has made significant vaccination progress, reaching over 70% statewide, continued effort is needed to boost rates among teenagers and achieve herd immunity thresholds. As tourism continues rebounding, maintaining community immunity through further vaccination or boosters can help Hawaii handle ongoing pandemic impacts.

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