HONOLULU – Parents choosing to have their children vaccinated at school through the Hawaii Department of Health’s Stop Flu at School program are urged to act quickly this year. Vaccination consent forms, both online and in print, are currently available and are due back to schools on October 16. Students must have their completed and signed consent forms returned to their school by the deadline in order to receive a flu vaccination at their school’s clinic.
“Our school-based flu vaccination clinics offer a convenient option for parents of students from kindergarten through 8th grade statewide,” said Health Director Linda Rosen. “More than 72,000 students and school faculty were vaccinated last year, helping to prevent the spread of illness among classmates, families, and communities. This reduces lost school and work days, saves medical costs and ultimately saves lives.”
This year’s clinics will be held from November through December. The Department of Health is collaborating with school administrators, health care providers, pediatric associations, health insurers, and federal partners to continue this important program.
This year, Hawaii Association of Healthcare Plans (HAHP) members agreed to subsidize some of the cost for two program years. HAHP members’ contribution for the 2014-2015 school year is $815,000 of the total program cost of $1.7 million. “Our warmest mahalo to HAHP for ensuring that Hawaii’s keiki are able to be vaccinated at school,” said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist. “Their funding to continue this program will help limit the spread of disease among families, the elderly—the whole community.”
Through the Stop Flu at School program, more than 65,000 elementary and middle school children in more than 300 public, private and charter schools statewide are vaccinated against flu each year, contributing to Hawaii having one of the highest flu vaccination coverage rates in the nation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Information packets and vaccination consent forms are distributed to parents through participating schools. Parents may choose to complete the consent form online at https://vaxonlinereg.doh.hawaii.gov/VaxMe_Login_SSL.php.
For more information about Stop Flu at School, visit http://flu.hawaii.gov/SFAS.html. Parents needing assistance completing the consent forms, including those needing assistance in other languages, may call Aloha United Way’s information and referral service at 2-1-1.