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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: When will the Moderna booster shot be ready?

Question: When will the Moderna booster shot be approved?

Answer: In about two weeks or so, if federal officials give the go-ahead, and on the same review timeline as the Pfizer-­BioNTech booster shot received.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) is scheduled to meet Oct. 14 to 15 to discuss the use of booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccines in people 18 and older, according to an FDA news release,

That committee’s review is one step in a process that also requires the leaders of the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review such use. With the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot, the FDA and CDC leadership review followed quickly after the committee’s review. Similar treatment is expected with the Moderna and J&J boosters.

The advisory committee is expected to livestream its meetings; find the links to various viewing platforms in the news release previously mentioned.

Q: I understand that they are recommending booster shots because immunity can wane after so many months for some people with the vaccine. But what if I got COVID-19 last year? Does natural immunity wane too?

A: Yes, health officials say. A report by the World Health Organization in May ( said that immunity in people who had recovered from COVID-19 was robust for six to eight months, similar as for those who had been vaccinated against the disease. Please note that the report was issued before the delta variant predominated in the United States, causing more reinfections and breakthrough cases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have recovered from COVID-19 be vaccinated against the disease.

Initial vaccination for someone with waning natural immunity may serve the same purpose as a booster shot for someone with waning vaccine immunity.

Q: How do we establish our QR code? Is there a website? We are traveling to Las Vegas in November.

A: Follow the directions at, the website for Hawaii’s Safe Travels program.

Q: I am out of temporary disability insurance, can I switch to unemploy- ment?

A: Not if you are unable or unavailable to work, both of which are requirements to collect Unemployment Insurance, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. If you have recovered from your illness or injury and are able to return to work, your eligibility for UI would depend on your recent W-2 earnings, which must meet standards in terms of duration and amount. To gauge your eligibility, use the benefits estimator at the bottom of the UI division’s website,


There is no good explanation for University of Hawaii athletes and fans to be penalized the way we are being penalized. Forget the rest of the country, even within Hawaii, activities are occurring … that are less safe than an outdoor football game with cheering fans would be. Please don’t paint us as rabid sports fans who care about nothing but football. That’s not it! It’s that the COVID-19 rules are so inconsistent and unfair. Stop singling out UH! — Frustrated alum


To the driver of the red car who let me have the spot we both were headed for at the Longs Kailua parking lot on Monday afternoon — mahalo! I had put my car into reverse to let you have it but you reversed first, sending me a big smile, a wave, and a shaka. Your kindness made my day — no, my week. I’m still smiling about it and hoping you have a beautiful week too. — Driver of white Honda CRV

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

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