It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through the year! All of us at HIPHI are…
Some COVID-19 programs have ended or changed after the Public Health Emergency (PHE) ended on May 11, 2023. Free at-home test kits via USPS are no longer available as of May 31, 2023. Some test kits you might have may be labeled past the expiration date. However, many test kits have received an FDA-approved extension on the expiration date. Visit the FDA website to locate the brand of the test kit and see whether the expiration date was extended.
There are changes to CDC guidance regarding the COVID-19 vaccination/immunization schedule as of June 7, 2023. Everyone 6 years old or older can receive a dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 updated vaccine. The updated vaccine is also sometimes referred to as the bivalent booster. Individuals who have never received a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 primary series vaccine will be considered up-to-date after receiving this updated vaccine. People 65 or older can get a second dose of the updated vaccine four or more months after the first. Immunocompromised people can get a second dose two or more months after their first. Visit the CDC website for more information on these guidance changes.
Despite the end of the PHE Declaration, COVID-19 is still of concern especially considering the potential of developing Long COVID or Post-COVID conditions. The updated vaccine protects against developing moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms, possibly reducing the risk of hospitalization or Long COVID.
While no longer a requirement in most areas, wearing a properly fitting mask when in crowded places or while taking public transportation is still recommended. Taking an at-home COVID-19 test before attending any gatherings is a good idea, especially if you are feeling sick and experiencing respiratory symptoms such as coughing or sneezing.
HIPHI will continue to share news and resources on COVID-19 as part of the CDC Foundation grant. We will share these through COVID-19 newsletter updates and on our social media. We will also continue to create COVID-19 educational resources, including Keiki Heroes – a collection designed to educate keiki on health topics. Please get in touch with Sairel Labasan at firstname.lastname@example.org for HIPHI COVID-19 materials.