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Maui County delays update of ‘fully vaccinated’ status that adds COVID-19 booster

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2020
                                Maui Mayor Mike Victorino.

    STAR-ADVERTISER / 2020

    Maui Mayor Mike Victorino.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino has announced the postponement until Jan. 24 of implementation of new public health rules that, in part, revises the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include those who have received a COVID-19 booster shot.

The county’s public health emergency rules were originally slated to go into effect on Jan. 8, but postponing implementation ensures eligible adolescents and other individuals have enough time to get boosted, Victorino’s office said in a release.

“Most medical providers are seeing a noticeable increase in demand for booster shots in Maui County for people of all ages,” Victorino said. “Many parents are eager to get additional protection for their teens. Postponing the effective date will give residents and providers additional time to respond.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued new guidance that expands eligibility of Pfizer booster doses to children ages 12 to 17 years old. Hawaii’s Department of Health adopted the recommendation today.

Victorino reiterated statements made when Maui’s new rules were first announced, saying the revisions “reflect rapidly changing conditions in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

He thanked residents who already received a booster shot and businesses that are hosting booster shot clinics.

“Given the highly contagious nature of the omicron variant, boosters are the best way to prevent our healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed,” Victorino said.

Maui is seeing an uptick in new coronavirus infections amid the wider omicron surge. The county reported 734 new cases today to reach a 7-day average of 310, up 432% from two weeks ago, according to the state health department.

Vaccination and booster clinics are available on Maui by appointment and walk-ins may be accepted at some locations. A list of vaccination locations across Maui County is available at mauinuistrong.info.

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