East Hawaii News

Flu Vaccination Program Begins at Schools Today

October 15, 2013, 9:55 AM HST
* Updated December 12, 2:58 PM
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The annual “Stop Flu at School” vaccinations begin today in more than 300 public, charter and private schools statewide.

The Department of Health said the voluntary program, now in its seventh year, provides free influenza vaccinations to school children in kindergarten through grade 8.

The DOH anticipates vaccinating more than 60,000 Hawaii students in the program that runs through Nov. 27.

“Despite cutbacks in spending at all levels of government, we prioritized funding for this important program, which helps protect our children,” said Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “By reducing flu in our keiki, older adults in the household will have less exposure to the virus, so that fewer of them will get it. Ultimately, this cost-effective prevention program saves lives and reduces healthcare costs.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older.

The Stop Flu at School program is a partnership between the state departments of health and education, the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and Hawaii Catholic Schools.

The program is endorsed by the Hawaii Chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians and is made possible through funding received from the CDC and the Hawaii Association of Health Plans.

For more information about the Stop Flu at School program, go to http://flu.hawaii.gov/sfas.html or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

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, UH-Hilo, Kaua‘i County Community College and UH Maui College.

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