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BY NATHANIEL WEIXEL - 11/19/21 03:21 PM EST
A key outside advisory group to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has endorsed the use of COVID-19 booster shots for all adults, a one-size-fits-all approach designed to simplify eligibility.
If CDC Director Rochelle Walensky signs off on the broader use, as expected, the extra shots will be available immediately to all adults, as long as they are six months past the final dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months after a Johnson & Johnson dose.
The recommendation from the panel comes just hours after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized both Pfizer and Moderna’s booster shots for everyone over the age of 18.
Pfizer applied to the FDA earlier this month for an expansion of the emergency authorization for its booster shot to make it available to anyone 18 or older. Moderna announced just this week that it too had asked the FDA to allow its booster to be given to all adults.
Boosters for everyone has always been the Biden administration’s goal, but until now federal health authorities have stopped short of such a policy, and instead recommended boosters for only specific populations — those over age 65, anyone at high risk because of work or where they live, or those with an underlying medical condition.
The primary COVID-19 vaccination continues to provide good protection against severe disease and death, even as effectiveness against milder infection has waned. But cases have been steadily rising across the country, and authorities have said they want to stave off another winter surge.
The current recommendations, while fairly broad, have caused confusion. While people over the age of 65 are most at risk from waning vaccine immunity, fewer than 40 percent of them have received a booster, according to CDC data.
“The current guidelines, though well-intentioned and thoughtful, generate an obstacle to uptake of boosters. In pursuit of precision, they create confusion,” Nirav Shah, president of Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told the panel.
The panel did not make a distinction in their recommendation between the two types of mRNA vaccines, despite the potential for increased risk of myocarditis — a type of heart inflammation — in young men after receiving Moderna’s vaccine.
CDC officials told the panel it’s too early to draw conclusions on the risk of myocarditis after the third dose of mRNA vaccines, because teens and younger adults haven’t yet been boosted in large enough numbers.
Several other countries have discouraged use of the Moderna vaccine in people younger than 30 because of that risk.
Mitchell D. Roth – Mayor
Lee E. Lord – Managing Director
County of Hawai‘i Office of the Mayor
HILO: 25 Aupuni Street, Suite 2603 * Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720* (808) 961-8211 * Fax (808) 961-6553
KONA: 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy., Bldg C * Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i 96740 * (808) 323-4444 Fax (808) 323-4440
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cyrus Johnasen, Email: email@example.com
October 26, 2021 Mobile: (808) 345-9434
HAWAIʻI COUNTY ANNOUNCES OPENING OF FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT CENTERS
Hawaiʻi County announces the opening of its newly established Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs). Established through a partnership between the national nonprofit Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, Hawai’i Community Foundation, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), and Hawai`i First Federal Credit Union (HFFCU), the centers offer free professional, one-on-one financial counseling and coaching as a public service to residents. Counseling sessions can range from 30 – 60 minutes, with no limitation to the number of free sessions an individual can participate in. The FECs are staffed with professionally trained financial counselors who can help residents 18 and older, regardless of income, manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products. Financial counselors can also make referrals to other services and organizations as needed.
“Financial empowerment will play a key role in how we begin to build back from the COVID-19 pandemic and return to a vibrant and thriving Hawaiʻi Island,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “We encourage everyone in our community to take advantage of this free service, regardless of their income level. Making sure that our residents have the resources they need to succeed is all part of creating a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island, where our keiki can raise their keiki for generations to come – and that is really our number one priority.”
Interested residents may schedule an appointment today by visiting https://tinyurl.com/5h9kfzvr. Appointments may be scheduled to convene in person or via Zoom.
Robert H. Command
Deputy Managing Director
County of Hawai‘i is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.
Communities RISE Together Partnership to Support Community-Based Organizations in Local COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts in Over 25 States.
Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute to focus on Education and Equitable Access in Areas of Hawaiʻi that have been hard hit by the pandemic.
Honolulu, HI – In response to inequities in the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations in many communities of color compared to white areas, and with the surge in cases due to the more transmissible Delta variant, Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute (HIPHI) is partnering with Communities RISE Together and local partners Project Vision Hawaiʻi and Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association Inc. (KRHCAI) with a focus on COVID-19 outreach in targeted low-vaccination areas on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island.
Communities RISE Together is an initiative funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services to promote vaccinations in Black, Asian-American/Pacific-Islander, Latinx, Native-American, rural, immigrant/migrant and low-income older adult populations in more than 220 counties in over 25 states and territories* with low vaccination rates. Partners WE in the World, which convenes the Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network, and the Public Health Institute are coordinating and administering this initiative.
The COVID pandemic has revealed and worsened persistent racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health inequities, with vastly different rates of COVID cases, vaccination rates, and health and life outcomes in communities of color, and evident in Hawaii’s current surge in cases. The Communities RISE Together initiative aims to address these gaps through trusted messengers who are already on the ground and have deep trust in communities.
Over the six month project, some of the activities supported in Hawaiʻi will include:
- Partner with community organizations to provide new and critical information regarding COVID-19 to increase awareness and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Support the coordination of vaccination and testing sites in targeted zip codes including promotion of events and recruitment of volunteers and community leaders.
- Utilize Hawaiʻi State Department of Health data as guidance to target outreach efforts.
- Connect residents to community resources to ensure equitable access to information and resources that promote overall health and well-being for all of Hawaii’s people.
In a direct response to COVID-19, HIPHI has made intentional efforts to keep communities safe and informed with rapidly emerging science, including alerting the public when new and crucial information is released. According to Jessica Yamauchi, CEO of HIPHI, “As the impacts of the pandemic evolved over time, tapping into a vast network of connections and expertise was necessary to motivate communities and mobilize resources to hardest hit areas. Collaborating with integral community partners such as Project Vision Hawaiʻi and Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association Inc. will leverage access and resources to residents in hard-to-reach communities.”
For more information on events and volunteer opportunities happening near you or how you can volunteer, please visit these resources:
Other partners in Communities RISE Together include CHROMATIC BLACK, the Center for Popular Democracy, Latino Health Access, the Migrant Clinicians Network, Meals on Wheels America, National Councils on Aging, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Public Health Institute’s Center to Advance Community Health and Equity, and WE in the World/WIN Network.
Follow #CommunitiesRISE on social media to see work as it happens across the country. Find out more about Communities RISE Together and or the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services press release on the Communities RISE award.
*The states and territories are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Federated States of Micronesia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
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