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Hawaiʻi health department recommends bivalent COVID boosters

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The state Department of Health is recommending the use of the first bivalent COVID booster vaccines.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorization for the new boosters this week.

The federal government allotted nearly 38,000 doses to the state, which expects the initial orders to arrive in the coming days.

The new vaccines protect against the original COVID-19 and the most common forms in Hawaiʻi — the B.A.4 and B.A.5 Omicron subvariants.

The B.A.5 subvariant is found in an estimated 90% of the state’s COVID cases.

The bivalent boosters can only be given if it has been at least two months since a person’s most recent vaccination. Pfizer’s bivalent booster is available to people age 12 and older, and the Moderna version is for people age 18 and older.

Pharmacies and community health centers are placing orders for the new boosters on their own.

More information can be found at hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine.

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