Aloha, Wishing you and your loved ones happy holidays as 2023 draws to a close!…
COVID-19: Preparing for the Holidays
With Halloween less than a week away, we want to ensure you have all the information you need to have a healthy holiday season. In comparison to last year, the holidays will look different as loosened social restrictions are expected. As Halloween and other holidays quickly approach, so does the annual flu season occuring in the fall and winter. So what should we do to prepare? Here are three prevention tips to help you stay healthy during the holidays:
Get vaccinated for the flu and COVID-19.
- Why is it important to get the (influenza) flu shot? Every flu season is different, but the flu is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. During the pandemic, it is all the more important to get a flu vaccine to protect your health and our healthcare system from being overburdened. Everyone six months of age and older can get a flu shot; to get vaccinated call your doctor or schedule an appointment with your local pharmacy: CVS (Longs), Walgreens, KTA Super Stores, Times, Safeway, Costco, and Foodland. Learn more about the flu shot by clicking here.
- Who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster?
|Residents who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, after six months of being fully vaccinated can get a booster if they are:
|Residents aged 18+ at least two months after their initial dose of a Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are also eligible to receive a booster.
- When will children age 5-11 be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19? On October 26, the FDA advisory will meet to consider data for Pfizer-BioNTech’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for keiki ages five and older. Want to watch the livestream? The virtual meeting will be posted in the FDA’s YouTube channel. Before COVID-19 vaccinations become available to keiki, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must authorize use of the vaccine and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must issue recommendations for clinical use, which is expected by Thanksgiving or sooner. Our next Public Health Action webinar is on November 3; we will discuss COVID-19 vaccination for keiki, with experts available to answer your questions. A flyer with more information will be shared in our next COVID-19 update; those interested can register here.
Stay home and get tested if you feel sick.
- An important reminder during the holiday season: be mindful of your body and encourage your loved ones to do the same. If you feel sick, check to see if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and use the Coronavirus Self-Checker if you need help determining the appropriate medical care. You may also contact your doctor or visit a local urgent care to get tested for the seasonal flu. COVID-19 and the flu spread through respiratory droplets, so please wear a mask if you are around others.
Choose safer settings.
- If you are planning to celebrate the holidays with those outside of your household, research shows COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors than outdoors. If you are hosting a holiday celebration, ask loved ones to wear a mask if gathering indoors and gather in small groups. Gatherings statewide are currently limited to no more than 10 people for indoor gatherings and no more than 25 people for outdoor gatherings.
- The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) issued guidance to help families have a safe and fun Halloween including safer, low-risk activities. In addition, this week we will be posting Halloween guidance on our social media pages: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Follow us to view more recommendations for Halloween and the upcoming holidays!
|Find a testing site:
|Find a vaccination site:
As we are consistent with the prevention tips mentioned, we anticipate this holiday season to be cheerful. We continue to remain creative with ways to celebrate and stay safe.
Mahalo for doing your part,
The HIPHI team