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Maui revises definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ to include booster shot

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2020
                                Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is pictured.
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STAR-ADVERTISER / 2020

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is pictured.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino today announced a revision to the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include a booster shot.

The new definition, which goes into effect Jan. 8 in the county’s newest set of emergency rules, will impact Maui’s current regulations governing access to restaurants, bars, and gyms, which require proof of vaccination cards or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours to enter the establishment.

Vaccinations cards must show the dates of an individual’s last dose as well as the date of a booster shot, if eligible.

“Science says that after the second shot of Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations or the single Johnson and Johnson shot vaccinations weaken after about six months,” said Victorino in a news release.

The Hawaii Department of Health has been urging those who are eligible – all residents ages 16 and older who received their initial vaccines series at least six months ago — to get their booster doses as soon as possible for additional protection against the highly transmissible omicron variant.

Anyone who received J&J doses at least two months ago is also eligible for a booster.

To date, only 24.7% of the state’s population of about 1.4 million has received that third dose or booster. In Maui County, about 20% of the population of about 166,000 has received a booster, according to DOH data.

Maui County has been experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases, with a 7-day average of 135, which is 573% higher than it was two weeks ago. The county’s average positivity rate is at 11%.

Victorino reminded Maui residents that patrons can still dine outdoors without a vaccination card or get takeout.

“Our rules reflect the changing conditions during this ongoing pandemic, and the need to protect the health and safety of our residents,” he said.

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