Hawaii students going back to school is a reminder that flu season is right around the corner.
To help keep infections down, the state kicked off its 9th annual Stop Flu at School program Wednesday.
The school-located influenza vaccination program helps protect more than 65,000 Hawaii students annually from the flu.
More than 500,000 vaccinations have been administered since the program’s inception in 2007.
“We are immensely proud of this program, which is the only one of its kind in the nation, in providing free flu vaccinations to elementary and middle school children in more than 300 public, private, and charter schools statewide,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, director of the state Department of Health. “Counties in other states have conducted similar programs, but we are the only one to provide this service statewide.”
“This program is extremely important and the single most effective way to protect our keiki, our schools and communities from the flu. It’s free and it’s easy, and I encourage parents to ensure their children are protected,” said First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige.
Information packets and vaccination consent forms are being distributed to parents through participating schools. Parents choosing to have their children vaccinated through the Stop Flu at School program must complete the vaccination consent forms and return them to school by Friday, Sept. 4.
Parents also have the option of completing the consent form online. Consent forms completed online must be printed, signed and dated, then returned to school by the Sept. 4 deadline.
This year’s vaccination clinics will be held in October and November. A list of participating schools and their clinic dates is available here.
For more information about the Stop Flu at School program and to download translated consent forms, click here or call Aloha United Way’s information and referral service at 2-1-1 for assistance.