Big Island Coronavirus Updates

COVID Booster Eligibility Expands

November 20, 2021, 3:01 PM HST
* Updated November 20, 3:14 PM
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The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is adopting new guidelines from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on COVID-19 booster vaccinations.

Effective immediately all adults age 18 and older who completed their primary mRNA vaccinations of Pfizer or Moderna at least six months ago are eligible for boosters.

“We’ve been getting booster shots for measles, mumps, chickenpox, tetanus, whooping cough and other diseases for years. Now the research shows boosters will help protect us from COVID-19,” said Health Director Elizabeth Char, FACEP.

The following recipients of a Pfizer or Moderna primary series should receive a single COVID-19 booster dose:

  • People aged 50 years and older.
  • Adults in long term care settings.
  • All other persons aged 18 and older who received a Pfizer or Moderna primary series may receive a single COVID-19 booster dose.

Boosters are also recommended for anyone who received Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine more than two months ago.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded its emergency use authorization for Pfizer and Moderna booster vaccinations early this morning. The CDC expanded recommendations for booster shots this afternoon.


According to the DOH, evidence reviewed by the CDC shows the primary series of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offer significant protection against hospitalization and death. That protection diminishes over time, health officials say, adding booster vaccinations provide additional protection by reenergizing our natural defense systems.

“We invite anyone who is not vaccinated to get vaccinated soon so they’ll be protected during the holidays. And, if you got your shots a while ago, a booster is available for you today,” Char said.

Information on where vaccines are available can be found at

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