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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: How can I locate the correct vaccine brand for my COVID-19 booster shot?

Question: How do we know which brand of vaccine a particular vaccination shot provider is administering on a given day? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says one is to take the same vaccine in the booster as the first two shots. It was easy during the initial mass vaccination campaign, where you were told where and when to return to get the second shot. With the booster, the original mass vaccination center may no longer be in operation, and one could choose among many different locations including mobile locations. I might decide to go to a vaccination center run by a different health system from the one that administered the first two. I realize boosters are currently given only to those who are immunocompromised.

Answer: The vaccine section of Hawaii’s COVID- 19 portal links to several websites that help you find a vaccine by type/brand and location. None seem to list every possibility, so here is more information about some of the tools.

>> Vaccines.gov/search allows you to search by COVID-19 vaccine type/brand and location (ZIP code and distance). It mainly lists retail pharmacies, such as at Costco, CVS, Walgreens, Safeway, Walmart and other stores, but we also spotted a few clinics, such as Kaiser and Waikiki Health. People unable to access this tool, commonly known as the CDC vaccine finder, can call 800-232-0233 for assistance.

>> The Hawaii portal’s main vaccine page, hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine, has links for vaccination sites in each of Hawaii’s counties; look for the blue tabs on the right, about halfway down the page. You live on Oahu, so the specific link is oneoahu.org/find-vaccine. This site includes a map of pop-up and mass-vaccination locations and allows you to search by vaccine brand, along with other criteria. Hospital locations also are listed.

>> Covid.queens.org/ vaccine lists numerous vaccination sites affiliated with The Queen’s Health Systems, on Oahu, the Big Island and Molokai. The phone number for anyone unable to access the website is 691-2222. The vaccine brand generally is listed; for example, the website says that both Pfizer and Moderna are available at the Blaisdell Vaccination Clinic, while only Pfizer is available at the West Vaccination Clinic. For FAQs from Queen’s about booster shots, see covid.queens.org/vaccine-booster-faq.

>> The Aloha United Way 211 phone line also can provide information.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that only people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive a third dose of mRNA vaccine. This includes people who have “been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood; received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system; received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system; moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott- Aldrich syndrome); advanced or untreated HIV infection; or active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response,” the CDC says.

The third dose should be given at least 28 days after the second dose and should be the same brand, it says.

Q: Regarding the UI phone appointments, will this also be for people who have a supposed overpayment freezing their UI?

A: Yes. Go to labor.hawaii.gov/ui/appointments and click on the tab that says “UI Adjudication Appointment,” which includes telephone appointments for Oahu claimants who need to speak to an examiner about clearing an overpayment so the status of their unemployment insurance claim certifications can change from pending to paid.

Mahalo

On Friday at about 10 a.m., I was driving on Vineyard Boulevard near Liliha Street when traffic slowed to a stop in my lane. Directly in front of me was an Island Movers truck which obscured my view. Once I was able to pass, I could see that the men from Island Movers had stopped to help a stranded motorist push his stalled vehicle off the road. I quickly yelled out to them, “True Island Movers!” and gave them a shaka sign before I had to move along. I could not let this act of aloha pass without acknowledging it. The motorist had a better chance of being honked at by busy people in crushing traffic, but not from these men. It was a beautiful moment, and I was thankful to have been there when it happened. — Jackie Graessle


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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