County to require booster shot for full vaccination status

The Maui News

New Maui County rules requiring booster shots in order to be considered fully vaccinated will go into effect on Monday.

Under the new definition, customers will have to prove they are “up to date” with their COVID-19 vaccinations if they want to dine indoors at a restaurant or bar, or exercise inside of a gym.

The county had originally planned to roll out the revised rules on Jan. 8 but pushed back the date to allow more people time to get the booster shot.

“After speaking with leadership from Maui, Molokai and Lanai hospitals, it’s evident that our health care facilities are at a tipping point,” Mayor Michael Victorino said in a news release Friday. “If omicron continues to spread at the current rate, our hospitals will be forced to implement emergency procedures. We can’t send patients to Oahu or other islands, so booster shots, masks and physical distancing are more important than ever in high-risk venues like bars, restaurants and gyms.”

The county pointed to new, large studies from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that boosters provide the best protection from severe disease and hospitalization caused by the omicron variant.

For more information on the studies, visit cdc.gov/mmwr/ volumes/71/wr/mm7104e3.htm?s_cid=mm7104e3_w.

Residents can also view the new rules at mauicounty.gov or visit mauinuistrong.info/ vaccination-locations for a list of places offering vaccination and booster clinics.


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