Hearings set for immunization requirement updates

HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Health has scheduled additional public hearings on the counties of Kaua‘i, Maui and Hawaii to gather public comments on the proposed amendments to Title 11, Chapter 157, “Examination and Immunization,” which include health examination and immunization requirements for school attendance in Hawaii.

The meeting on Kauai is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Kauai District Health Office Conference Room, 3040 Umi Street, Lihue.

The public hearing for Oahu was conducted on Nov. 1.

“We decided that hearings should be conducted statewide based on the interest around these changes,” said Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson. “The proposed rules conform with current national recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccinations.”

The proposed changes update and clarify the immunization and examination requirements for school, post-secondary school, and child care facility attendance in Hawaii, which were last revised in 2001.

Since then, updates have been made to the vaccine recommendations from the CDC, resulting in differences between current national standards and Hawaii’s pediatric and school entry and attendance requirements.

“The proposed changes will update our rules to align with current CDC recommendations for childhood and adolescent vaccinations and reflect what is already occurring in healthcare provider offices and clinics as standard medical practice,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist. “We appreciate the public’s interest and encourage them to attend the upcoming hearings to provide their comments to us.”

Testimony may be submitted orally or in writing during the public hearings. Persons may submit written testimony to DOH by email to immunization@doh.hawaii.gov by Dec. 26.

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