DOH Press Release: New Bivalent COVID-19 Boosters Provide Enhanced Protection
Posted on Sep 1, 2022 in Latest news from the department, Press room
HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) recommends the use of the first bivalent booster vaccines designed specifically to protect against original COVID-19 and the most common forms of COVID-19 in Hawai’i, BA .4 and the BA .5 Omicron sub-variants.
The BA.5 subvariant accounts for approximately 91% of COVID-19 cases in Hawai’i. The BA.4 subvariant accounts for an additional 4% of cases in Hawai’i.
“The COVID-19 boosters we use do a good job of protecting us against serious illness. The new bivalent boosters are an upgrade because they take into account the mutations of the COVID-19 virus to specifically address Omicron subvariants,” said state health director Dr. Elizabeth Char, FACEP.
The United States Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for bivalent COVID-19 boosters yesterday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the DOH recommend the bivalent booster made by Pfizer-BioNTech for people age 12 and older. They recommend Moderna’s bivalent booster for adults 18 and older.
The new bivalent vaccines should be given as a single booster dose to those who have already completed a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and to those who have received one or two booster doses. Bivalent boosters can only be given if at least two months have passed since a person’s last vaccination.
Bivalent vaccines replace previously authorized monovalent mRNA boosters for people 12 years of age and older. The DOH and CDC continue to recommend Pfizer’s monovalent boosters for children ages 5 to 11.
The federal government has awarded DOH initial orders totaling 37,800 bivalent booster doses. These first orders will arrive in the next few days. The DOH will place additional orders weekly as needed.
Pharmacies and community health centers place orders for bivalent doses independent of DOH.
Scheduling of booster appointments will be done by the individual vaccine providers once they have received delivery of the bivalent boosters. Find information about providers and the services they offer by visiting the vaccine search map at https://hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine/.
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