The Hawaii Department of Health is recommending that all Hawaii residents age 18 and up who received Pfizer or Moderna get booster shots six months after receiving their first two doses.

It’s the first time the state has said that all adults should get boosted. Previously, the state said that people who received Johnson & Johnson shots should get a second one at least two months after their first, and said that elderly and immunocompromised people who received Pfizer or Moderna should get boosters.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidance Monday urging all adults to get booster shots. Part of the concern is whether a new variant called omicron will fuel another surge as many in the U.S. are forced indoors over winter.

Waimanalo Health Center Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Federal and state officials say all adults should get a Moderna or Pfizer booster six months after getting vaccinated.  Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Hawaii hasn’t yet identified omicron in the state and reported 79 new cases Tuesday and zero deaths. But scientists fear the situation could worsen if omicron is more contagious than previous variants and more resistant to the vaccine.

“While the omicron variant has not yet been detected in Hawaii, the best thing you can to do protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated, wear a mask, avoid large gatherings and get tested for Covid-19 if you feel sick,” Elizabeth Char, state health director, said in a press release.

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