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State releases statistics for immunization exemptions at schools

The state Department of Health on Friday released the rates of immunization exemptions at Hawaii schools for the 2018-19 academic year.

Schools are required to report these numbers to the DOH each year.

According to the Health Department, students are required to receive DTaP (diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis), polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), hepatitis B, Hib and Varicella (chickenpox) immunizations for school attendance. Immunizations must meet minimum age and interval requirements between vaccine doses.

Children, however, can be exempt from immunization requirements for medical or religious reasons if the appropriate documentation is given to the school.

Schools with some of the higher exemption rates on Hawaii Island include:

Malamalama Waldorf School/Kinderhale, 46.3 percent religious exemption (95 enrollment); Kona Pacific Public Charter School, 37.4 percent religious exemption (222 enrollment); Innovations Public Charter School, 16.9 percent religious exemption (237 enrollment); Connections New Century Public Charter School, 14 percent religious exemption (349 enrollment); Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School, 13.3 percent religious exemption (339 enrollment); Holualoa Elementary School, 10.8 percent religious exemption (536 enrollment); and Haaheo Elementary School, 9.2 percent religious exemption (196 enrollment).

“I think certainly the department is concerned about school vaccine exemptions that seem to be increasing, because vaccine hesitancy is a major challenge to preventing potential outbreaks,” said DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

The full list can be found online at bit.ly/vaxexemption.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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