Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID booster shots now available in Hawaii

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The three COVID vaccines are now being used as booster shots. Health officials said these booster shots will provide an extra layer of protection as people continued to move forward through this pandemic.

In addition to having more options, booster shots are also more available statewide. Many of the Long’s Drugs are offering them, and it is recommended that you make an appointment.

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Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have now been approved as booster shots, along with Pfizer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also said people can use any of the vaccine’s booster shots, regardless of what vaccine they initially received.

“If you were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson, you can go get either Pfizer or Moderna as your booster, that’s OK. Essentially any of the boosters should be OK — you can mix and match,” said Dr. Libby Char, Hawaii Department of Health director.

The fact recipients can mix and match vaccines is reassuring news for Mark Kanetsuna, who initially got the Pfizer vaccine and got the Moderna booster on Friday, Oct. 22.

“Especially since it was approved to mix. So, OK it doesn’t matter to me, I’m pretty healthy anyway,” Kanetsuna added.

Those who initially got the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have to wait at least six months after their second dose to get a booster. Those who got Johnson & Johnson have to wait two months.

Booster shots are eligible to those aged 65 years and older, adults in long-term care, with underlying medical conditions or those at high risk of getting COVID because of their job. Dr. Char pointed out that since a lot of residents in long-term care initially received Moderna, it will be good to give them the choice of boosters.

“So, now it will make it a lot easier that we can use either Pfizer or Moderna to go and vaccinate those in the long-term care facilities. We definitely have plans for that and those will get rolling,” Dr. Char said.

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) added that there are plenty of doses available. So, adults who do not fall into the eligible category but feel they are at risk can still get the booster.

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“Yes, we have a sufficient supply for people to go down and get their booster, upwards of 200 thousand doses for sure when you count the jurisdiction doses and the pharmacy doses. And we continue to order doses all the time,” said Brooks Baehr, DOH spokesman.

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