When the State Health Department announced that there would be cutbacks to the popular “stop flu at school program” – many parents were concerned. How deep would the cuts be? The program is still being offered in 167 public schools and it all starts in a few weeks.
This morning on Dr. Sarah Park State Epidemiologist joined us in studio to talk about Stop Flu at School, Hawaii’s school-located vaccination program.
The program is a result of an innovative partnership between the State of Hawaii Departments of Health and Education. Flu vaccination of students at school is an effective strategy for reducing the spread of influenza in our communities and protecting those at risk of serious illness. Stop Flu at School provides flu vaccinations to school-age children at no cost to Hawaii families.
This marks the eleventh year of the Stop Flu at School program. Since 2007, nearly 600,000 flu vaccinations have been administered at more than 300 public, private, and charter schools statewide through this voluntary program.
Park says the Stop Flu at School will be offered to all elementary and intermediate public schools in Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Counties. On Oahu, the program will be made available to selected public schools.She says the best way to prevent influenza is get vaccinated. “Other ways to prevent infection are to avoid close contact with sick individuals, proper hand hygiene, and avoid touching your face, especially mouth, nose, and eyes,” says Park. “The best way a sick individual can prevent further spread is to stay home from school or work, cover their nose and mouth when sneezing, coughing, and talking, and proper hand hygiene.”>
Consent forms are due to children’s schools by Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. Clinics will be held statewide from Nov. 1 through Dec. 21, 20 at 167 public schools statewide.
For a list of eligible schools, visit: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/about-us/programs/stop-flu-at-school/.