FDA panel approves Moderna booster recommendation for certain groups

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — More options for booster shots are on the way as an FDA panel on Thursday endorsed third doses of the Moderna vaccine.

They say Americans in high risk groups who received Moderna’s vaccine should get a half-dose booster to increase immunity. If the FDA gives emergency use authorization to Moderna boosters, the CDC will meet to give it final approval.

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Hawaii Pacific Health, Queen’s, and Kaiser will provide Moderna boosters once it gets the green light, but other health facilities across the state aren’t planning on providing the shots.

At Hilo Medical Center, demand for booster shots is up 80% compared to first and second doses. However, when it comes to the Moderna booster, the hospital will not be offering them; some of its pop-up clinics might.

“I think they’ll have to look at the demand and the supply, but nothing is off the table,” said Elena Cabatu, Hilo Medical Center director of public affairs.

Maui Memorial Medical Center is focusing its efforts on Pfizer boosters, while the Maui Health District Office will focus on Moderna.

“Since we have the ultra low temperature freezer, it’d just be a good idea that we kind of take the Pfizer, and then since they have the capability to store Moderna, logistically that would just work out for both of us,” said Chrissy Miller, Maui Memorial Medical Center vaccine clinic administrator.

For those interested in a Moderna booster, it’s best to contact the facility that the orginial shot came from.

“The hospitals that were doing Moderna initially continue to do Moderna. The hospitals that were primarily doing Pfizer are continuing to do Pfizer,” said Hilton Raethel, CEO of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. “They do have different storage requirements.”

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The FDA panel will meet again on Friday to discuss approval for the Johnson and Johnson booster shot.

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