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Hawaii Health Department marks 1-year anniversary of first COVID-19 vaccine shot

JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Dr. Lester Morehead, left, was the first person in Hawaii to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at The Queen’s Medical Center in 2020.
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JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

Dr. Lester Morehead, left, was the first person in Hawaii to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at The Queen’s Medical Center in 2020.

The Hawaii Department of Health today marked the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 vaccinations in the state.

The first COVID-19 vaccine in the state was administered to Dr. Lester Morehead at Queen’s Medical Center on this day a year ago, signifying a turning point in the state’s battle against the coronavirus.

“COVID-19 vaccines are truly life-savers,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char in a news release. “And everything we learn about the omicron variant tells us the vaccines are just as important today as they were when we administered the first shot one year ago.”

To date, 2,439,075 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Hawaii, with an estimated 73.2% of the state’s population having completed vaccinations.

Now health officials are urging eligible Hawaii residents to get boosters as further protection against the omicron variant.

Eligible Hawaii residents include:

>> Those who are 16 years and older who completed their initial series of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago.

>> Those 18 years and older who completed their initial series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least six months ago.

>> Those who received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

“Hawaii has embraced the vaccines, but it is important for those who are not yet vaccinated to get their shots,” said Char in a statement. “And with the introduction of the omicron variant, it is very important for those who are eligible to get their booster shots as soon as possible. Booster shots are readily available and strongly encouraged. It appears holiday gatherings, the omicron variant and loosened restrictions are fueling an increase in COVID cases. Vaccines, mask wearing and avoiding large gatherings will help us safely navigate the holiday season.”

More information is available at hawaiicovid19.com.

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