(BIVN) – The public had the chance to testify today on immunization requirements for school attendance, during a hearing held at the Hilo State Office Building.
The Hawai‘i State Department of Health is gathering public comments on the proposed amendments to Title 11, Chapter 157, “Examination and Immunization,” which will update and clarify the immunization and examination requirements for school, post-secondary school, and child care facility attendance in Hawai‘i.
A list of the required vaccinations is online.
Most of the testifiers at the Hilo hearing were generally opposed to any immunization requirements. Many expressed concern over the growing number of vaccinations given to children in the United States. Speakers said they want to maintain the right to choose what shots their children are given, if any.
The requirements were last revised in 2001, health officials say. Since then, updates have been made to the vaccine recommendations from the CDC, resulting in differences between current national standards and Hawai‘i’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 state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park in a media release. “We appreciate the public’s interest and encourage them to attend the upcoming hearings to provide their comments to us.”
Another hearing was set for Thursday afternoon in Kona.
Persons who are not able to attend a public hearing may submit written testimony to DOH by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 26, 2018 at 4 p.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time (HST), officials say.