Residents are urged to get latest COVID-19 booster

·3 min read

Sep. 23—Health officials continue to urge anyone eligible to get a bivalent booster against COVID-19.

Health officials continue to urge anyone eligible to get a bivalent booster against COVID-19.

The booster is formulated to offer broader protection because it targets both the original strain and omicron subvariant BA.5, which is currently dominant across the U.S.

Pfizer's bivalent booster is available to those ages 12 and older, while Moderna's bivalent booster is available to those ages 18 and older, if it has been at least two months since the last vaccination shot.

They have been available in Hawaii since Labor Day weekend. As of Wednesday, 23, 354 bivalent boosters had been administered in the state, according to DOH.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says for those ages 18 and older, it is OK for boosters to be different from the primary series received. So adults who had Pfizer as a primary series or initial booster can get the Moderna bivalent booster as a follow-up, and vice versa.

DOH has ordered 62, 100 doses of the Pfizer bivalent booster and 10, 500 of the Moderna bivalent booster.

Of the orders, 51, 300 Pfizer doses and all 10, 500 Mo ­derna doses have been delivered to the state, according to spokesman Brooks Baehr, so there is more of the former than the latter.

The U.S. Department of Defense and pharmacies receive doses from the federal government independent of the health department and also have allotments of both.

The Queen's Health System, meanwhile, is hosting another flu and COVID-19 vaccination event from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at its Punch ­bowl medical center and Physicians Office Building 3 driveway in Honolulu.

CDC says both the flu and COVID-19 shots can be taken at the same time.

Those who want both a flu and COVID-19 shot, or the latter only, should go to the Queen's Conference Center near Punchbowl and South Beretania streets, with free parking available. Queen's will offer the Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent booster.

Those wanting a flu shot only can drive up to the POB 3 driveway off Lauhala Street and stay in their vehicle.

No appointment is needed, and vaccines will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis to those ages 5 and up.

Residents who want specific vaccines or boosters can conduct a search at, which allows one to select the Moderna or Pfizer bivalent, as well as other vaccines, near one's ZIP code.

Kaiser Permanente is offering the Moderna bivalent boosters at Moanalua Medical Center, West Oahu Medical Office, Waipio Medical Office and at the Lihue Clinic on Maui and Kona Medical Office on Hawaii island.

DOH on Wednesday also reported 14 more deaths, bringing the state's coronavirus-related death toll to 1, 679.

The average number of daily cases in Hawaii continued their descent, according to numbers released Wednesday by the state Department of Health, but the pandemic is not over yet, state leaders said.