DOH to require Hawaii students obtain additional vaccinations
Starting July 2020, the State Department of Health is requiring all students undergo additional immunization requirements which includes all vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. The added shots will depend on which grade the student is in.
Preschoolers will be required to get eight additional shots, including Hepatitis A and B. Students entering the seventh grade will need three more vaccines, which include one that prevents the sexually transmitted Human Papillomavirus.
The department says because Hawaii's tourism industry attracts millions of visitors each year it makes the state that much more susceptible to disease and infection.
"Vaccines are not only protecting individuals who are vaccinated. It protects their families, their friends, tutu, people who are suffering from cancer and can't get vaccinated. It protects the entire community," said DOH Director Bruce Anderson.
The Department of Education released this statement:
The Hawaii State Department of Education supports the state Department of Health?s goal to protect Hawaii?s population from vaccine-preventable diseases. This is especially true for susceptible groups like our children and immunization is a proven means of stopping outbreaks before they happen. Parents are strongly encouraged to get their children immunized before they attend school to help protect themselves and their fellow students from unnecessary health risks.?
According to DOH, vaccination rates in Hawaii's schools are fairly high compared to the rest of the nation. About 2 percent of students aren't vaccinated due to medical or religious exemptions.
Anderson says there are parents who are against immunizations because they believe its linked to behavioral disorders.
"It was alleged that autism was associated with vaccinations and that's simply not true. Studies have been done that refute that claim," Anderson said.
Its a claim Mom, Noelani Kau'i Naumu believes. The Kaua'i native says vaccinations nearly killed her son, Na'o who doctors diagnosed as severely autistic.
Naumu claims he suffered harsh reactions almost immediately after getting shots.
"High fever, rashes and welts covering from head to toe over eyelids throughout the entire body, seizures," said Naumu.
Her 5-year-old now eats through a feeding tube and requires medical care around the clock.
"Not being able to comprehend daily conversations that we have (he) struggles so much with everyday things that we take for granted," Naumu explained.
Starting this fall, the department plans to roll out an educational campaign about additional vaccines to help get the word out. DOH recommends parents start planning to reach out to physicians.