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Posted on: January 6, 2022

Mayor Victorino delays implementation of emergency rules regarding 'fully vaccinated'

Mayor Michael Victorino has postponed implementation of Maui County’s revised Public Health Emergency Rules until Jan. 24. Originally slated to go into effect Jan. 8, implementation has been postponed to ensure eligible adolescents and others have sufficient time to get their booster shots.

The revised rules change the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include a booster shot. New CDC guidance expands eligibility for booster doses to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for those in the 12 to 17 years old range. While many employers require employees to get their booster shots, only parents may make that decision for their adolescent children.

“The good news is that most medical providers are seeing a noticeable increase in demand for booster shots in Maui County for people of all ages,” said Mayor Victorino.  “Many parents are eager to get additional protection for their teens. Postponing the effective date will give residents and providers additional time to respond to the CDC’s new guidance.” 

For more information on the CDC’s recommendations, see: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/s0105-Booster-Shot.html

“I want to thank everyone who is stepping up to protect themselves, their families and our wider community by getting a booster shot. I also thank the many businesses that are hosting booster shot clinics on their properties to help employees and their families. Given the highly contagious nature of the omicron variant, boosters are the best way to prevent our healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed.”

Maui County’s rule revisions reflect rapidly changing conditions in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to protect the health and wellbeing of residents. 

In November, the state Department of Health announced that CDC data show the primary series of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offer significant protection against hospitalization and death, but that protection diminishes over time. Booster vaccinations provide additional protection by re-energizing immunity of initial COVID-19 vaccines. 

(See: https://health.hawaii.gov/news/newsroom/booster-eligibility-expands/)

Vaccination and booster clinics are available by appointment and walk-ins may be accepted at some locations.  For a list of vaccination locations across the County, see: https://www.mauinuistrong.info/vaccination-locations

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