DOH kicks off 'Stop Flu at School' program

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Health is kicking off the state's annual school-located vaccination program, Stop Flu at School.

The program offers free flu vaccine to elementary and middle school children in 338 public, private and charter schools statewide. The Hawai'i State Department of Health (DOH) is collaborating with school administrators, health care providers, pediatric associations, health insurers, and federal partners to continue this effective program that successfully vaccinated more than 69,000 Hawai'i students last year.

Information packets and vaccination consent forms are being distributed to parents through participating schools.  To make the free vaccinations available to their children, parents or guardians should complete and sign the consent forms, and return them to schools by the deadline, Friday, September 7.  Vaccination clinics will begin in October and continue into December.

"This program reduces barriers to immunization by eliminating costs to families and the need for parents to take time off from work for a trip to the doctor or clinic," said Health Director Loretta Fuddy.  "DOH vaccinated more than 69,000 students last year through the Stop Flu at School program, and we're committed to reaching even more of our most vulnerable communities with this free, voluntary program."

In an effort to reach more families, DOH will again have translations of the consent forms and vaccine information statements available on its website.

"This year, we are offering parents the option of completing the consent form online," said Ronald Balajadia, Immunization Branch Chief.  "To access the online consent form, visit  Consent forms completed online must be printed, signed and dated, then returned to school by the September 7th deadline."

"Flu vaccinations are safe and our best form of protection against the flu," said Dr. Sarah Y. Park, State Epidemiologist.  "By vaccinating school children, we protect not only our keiki but their families and our communities as well."

For more information about the Stop Flu at School program click here.