The Hawaii Department of Health said today that all adults who were fully vaccinated with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines at least six months ago should get a COVID-19 booster shot, a recommendation that aligns with stronger guidelines recently adopted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in light of concerns about the omicron variant.
Prior federal and state guidance said that anyone 50 and older, and any adult residing in a long-term care facility, “should” receive a booster, and anyone 18 and older “may” get a booster.”
Booster shots are also recommended for any adult who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
“This guidance is clear—all fully vaccinated adults should get a booster when it is available to them,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char, in a press release. “While the omicron variant has not yet been detected in Hawaiʻi, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated, wear a mask, avoid large gatherings and get tested for COVID-19 if you feel sick.”
Scientists are rushing to assess the threat of the new variant, including how transmissible it is and the degree to which vaccine and natural immunity may protect people from severe illness.