Hawaii weighs requiring booster for travelers to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’

Hawaii weighs requiring booster for travelers to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’

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Hawaii may soon change its definition of fully vaccinated when it comes to domestic travel, requiring visitors to have received a COVID-19 booster shot to meet the threshold.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige indicated during an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that his administration is weighing making the move, but he noted the policy would not immediately go into effect so that people would have time to adjust their plans.

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Hawaii Gov. David Ige. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

Hawaii Gov. David Ige. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

“We know that the community needs time to react to that, so we would have to provide at least two weeks for those who may not be up-to-date to go to have the opportunity to go and get vaccinated if they need to,” the Democratic governor told the outlet last week.

Under the current rules under the state’s “Safe Travels” program, travelers are considered fully vaccinated if they have received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

Domestic travelers who are fully vaccinated are currently allowed to skip a mandatory five-day quarantine period when entering Hawaii, while those who are not fully vaccinated are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test within one day of travel to the state. 

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Vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet weighed in on whether booster shots should be required for domestic and international travel, though some government organizations, such as the Department of Defense, have stated that discussions are being held about requiring booster shots for their workforce.

Hawaii’s rolling 14-day average of new COVID-19 cases rose to 3,705 over the weekend, up from 2,595 at the start of the year. Currently, 75.2% of the state’s population is considered fully vaccinated under the current guidance.

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