Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Hawaii NewsKokua Line

Kokua Line: Avoid flu shot and other vaccinations for 2 weeks before and after COVID-19 shot

Question: Can I get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

Answer: No, that is not recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The COVID-19 vaccine series should be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration of other vaccines. This recommendation is based on the lack of data on the safety and efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines,” the CDC says in its pre-vaccination checklist for COVID-19 vaccines, 808ne.ws/precheck.

Q: Please repeat the vaccination website.

A: The state Department of Health has tweaked its vaccination registration page over the past few days, so rather than referring you to a specific page that could become outdated, we’ll point you to the main page, hawaiicovid19.com. Once there, look for a link for vaccination registration and click on it.

As of Tuesday the main page linked to nine vaccination programs for kupuna 75 and older.

Q: I live on the mainland, and I need to visit my elderly mother, who lives in Waimanalo. If I come to Hawaii with no COVID-19 test, I know I have to quarantine for 10 days. I just want to make sure that they won’t make me turn back at the airport because I don’t have a test.

A: Air travelers may come to Oahu without being tested, including people who’ll be staying with relatives. Tim Sakahara, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, explains:

“A traveler who enters Hawaii without following the Safe Travels pre-travel testing requirements must quarantine for 10 days or the length of their trip (whichever is shorter) upon arrival. A traveler is able to stay at a verified residence of a family member. Airport screeners will call the place of lodging to confirm the traveler will be staying there for the duration of their quarantine period before the passenger is able to leave the airport.

“If a traveler is not able to confirm a reservation or place of lodging to the airport screener, the person will be allowed to make a reservation at a hotel of their choice, book a ticket on the next flight back to where they came from, or be directed to law enforcement.”

Even though your plan is legal, be sure to consider the possible consequences, especially since your mom’s advanced age puts her at higher risk of COVID-19 complications should you unintentionally carry the virus to her. Will you be able to quarantine at her house without exposing her to avoidable risk? Will you have your own bedroom and bathroom, for example? Will you be able to eat separately from her, without leaving the house?

Although the pre-travel testing program does not guarantee that every tested passenger arrives COVID-free, a negative result from a test taken within 72 hours of departure to Hawaii does provide some peace of mind. If you change your mind about getting tested, you can find information about the acceptable testing regimens at hawaiicovid19.com/travel.

Q: Oh man, I mistakenly thought that card was a scam, and I threw mine away (808ne.ws/117kline). Now what do I do? I don’t have the letter or anything.

A: Anyone who discarded their Economic Impact Payment (stimulus) prepaid debit card should call customer service immediately at 800-240-8100 and select the “Lost/Stolen” option, according to the FAQ at eipcard.com.

Sadly, we heard from several readers Monday who had mistaken the mailer for junk mail or a scam and thrown away the payment, which can be used as a debit card for individual purchases or transferred in total to one’s bank account.

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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