School Flu Vaccination Program Begins Statewide
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by Big Island Now Staff
The state Department of Health today began its “Stop Flu at School” program which provides free influenza vaccinations to school children in kindergarten through 8th grade.
The program, now in its sixth year, takes place in more than 300 public, charter and private schools statewide. It is voluntary for schools and students.
The DOH anticipates vaccinating more than 60,000 Hawaii students in the program that runs through Dec. 7.
The Stop Flu at School program is a partnership between the State of Hawaii departments of Health and Education, the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and Hawaii Catholic Schools.
Funding is provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hawaii Association of Health Plans. The program is endorsed by the Hawaii Chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Those participating in the vaccinations include volunteers from the Hawaii Medical Reserve Corps; State Department of Defense; Kaiser Permanente; University of Hawaii at Hilo School of Pharmacy; and nursing programs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Kapiolani Community College, UHH, Kaua‘i County Community College and UH Maui College.
“By vaccinating school children, we not only protect our keiki, but their families and communities as well,” said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist.
“An annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone six months and older. Children not vaccinated at their school should go to their doctor to receive the flu vaccine,” Park said. “Adults should be vaccinated at their doctor’s office or a pharmacy.”
A list of flu vaccination clinics statewide is available at http://hawaii.gov/health/flu-hawaiigov/Documents/flushotschedule.pdf.
For more information about the Stop Flu at School program, go to www.stopfluatschool.com or call the Aloha United Way toll-free information and referral line at 877-275-6569.