The state Department of Health is recommending COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccines for everyone age five and older.
Bivalent boosters are the first COVID-19 vaccinations designed specifically to protect against original COVID-19 and the most common forms of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i, the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. Currently, the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants account for nearly all of the COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i.
“This is great news for parents who want to protect their young children,” department officials said in a press release announcement today. Bivalent boosters were already available for everyone 12 and older. “Now kids ages 5-11 can benefit from these new boosters too,” said State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char, FACEP.
Today the US Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorization for the bivalent booster manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech for children ages 5-11 and the bivalent booster manufactured by Moderna for children and teens ages 6-17. Soon thereafter, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DOH recommended bivalent boosters for everyone age five and older.
The new bivalent vaccines are to be administered as a single booster dose to those who previously completed a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and those who have had one or two booster doses. Bivalent boosters can only be administered if it has been at least two months since a person’s most recent vaccination.
People can select a booster by either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna regardless of the vaccine brand they previously received, according to state health officials.
Find information about providers and the services they offer at vaccines.gov or by visiting the vaccine finder map at https://hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine/.