The Perfect Enemy | Health Department supports additional COVID-19 boosters for kupuna - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
April 11, 2024

Health Department supports additional COVID-19 boosters for kupuna – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Health Department supports additional COVID-19 boosters for kupuna  Honolulu Star-AdvertiserView Full Coverage on Google News

The Hawaii Department of Health said it supports the latest federal recommendations for an additional dose of the bivalent booster against COVID-19 for those at increased risk.

The CDC has signed off on a second bivalent booster for seniors ages 65 and older, and additional doses for those who have compromised immune systems.

Those who have not yet been vaccinated with the original, monovalent COVID vaccines, which the CDC no longer recommends for use in the U.S., can now get the updated bivalent one.

“These simplified recommendations make it even easier to protect yourself and your family from severe COVID-19 illness and death,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble in a news release. “COVID-19 is still circulating, and we have seen a recent rise in hospitalizations. We had 10 COVID-19 deaths reported in the last week. It is definitely worth it to get a booster dose now, if you are eligible. This is particularly important for kupuna and people who are immunocompromised.”

The CDC’s recommendations follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the changes for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 bivalent mRNA vaccines to simplify the vaccination schedule for most individuals.

DOH said it has notified all Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine providers of the FDA authorization changes.

The CDC’s new recommendations for COVID vaccines are as follows:

>> Adults 65 years and older can now receive a second bivalent vaccine booster dose at least four months after their initial bivalent dose.

>> People who are immunocompromised may receive additional bivalent vaccine booster doses and should consult their health care provider to determine the best timing for additional doses.

>> Everyone ages 6 and older who has not received an updated, bivalent vaccine should receive one, regardless of whether they completed their (monovalent) primary series.

>> Individuals ages 6 and older who already received an updated, bivalent vaccine do not need to take any action unless they are 65 years or older or immunocompromised.

>> The monovalent (original) mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be recommended for use in the United States.

“Hawaii has experienced lower COVID mortality than the rest of the country, in part because our residents have been vaccinated and boosted as recommended,” said DOH Director Dr. Kenneth Fink in the release. “We can continue this success by remaining vigilant and following updated recommendations as they are made.”

More information is available at vaccines.gov.