Maui drops vaccine booster mandate for individuals

Maui individuals will no longer have to get boosters as COVID-19 cases drop


The authorities in Maui, the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, have said that the individuals will no longer need to get their boosters, if they are fully vaccinated. The decision was announced just two weeks after the mandate was first implemented as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 had spread rapidly in Hawaii. Michael Victorino, the mayor of Maui announced that the mandate will be reversed taking effect on February 7, 2022. The decision was taken after a 67 percent decline was noticed on the number of COVID-19 cases between January 20 and February 2, 2022.

The decision regarding the boosters was taken after a pressure initiated from the Hawaii Restaurant Association. Tambara Garrick, from the organization when the mandate was first implemented had said that the decision would adversely affect the small business owners and restaurants in Maui County. Despite the decision, it is not clear if would also be applied to the travellers. Lt. Gov Josh Green of Hawaii, in an interview had suggested that the travellers to Hawaii might not need to have a booster to enter the islands as the number of COVID cases are declining. It was last month when Hawaii Gov. David Ige had confirmed that the Safe Travel program will need the visitors to have a booster.

During an interview Ige added that they hope to simplify and move the restrictions in near future as the situation continues to be favourable. As of February 7, 2022 nearly 35 percent of the residents in Hawaii have received the booster and more than three-quarters of the population of the region are fully vaccinated.

It was due to the highly contagious nature of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 the health authorities had stressed on getting a booster shot of the COVID vaccine that provided ample protection from the new variant. People across the globe are now getting their booster shots as a safety measure.

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