East Hawaii News

Stop Flu at School Program Gets Underway

October 14, 2015, 9:03 AM HST
* Updated October 14, 9:07 AM
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More than 300 public, private, and charter schools will participate in the Department of Health’s annual Stop Flu at School program that begins Wednesday.

The program runs through Nov. 25 and provides free flu vaccinations to students in kindergarten through eighth grade across the state who attend participating schools.

This year is the ninth year for the voluntary program.

“Each year, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths in the U.S.,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist. “Vaccination is our best defense against the flu, which is why we’ve been so committed to continuing the Stop Flu at School program.”

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

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In 2007, the Stop Flu at School program first started and since has provided approximately 65,000 flu vaccinations annually.

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Hawai’i has ranked first in the nation for flu vaccination coverage with 81 percent of five to 12-year-olds vaccinated during the 2014-15 influenza season. In 2013-14, the percentage of the same group that were vaccinated was 76 percent. The increases were seen in the age group vaccinated at the Stop Flu at School program, according to the National Immunization Survey-Flu.

To learn more about the Stop Flu at School program, visit the DOH website or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

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