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Monday, July 28, 2003



Back-to-school
health care offered

The Waikiki Health Center
is providing immunizations
and physicals for students


Waikiki Health Center's back-to-school campaign is under way to provide physicals and immunizations to students whose families can't afford to go to a physician.

Parents with no health insurance also can take children to public health clinics for vaccination, said Judy Strait-Jones, Hawaii Immunization Program project director. For the nearest clinic, call 211.

Strait-Jones said the state's Vax to School Program is going much smoother than last year, when new immunization rules went into effect. "All the physicians are up on this," she said. And, unlike last year, there are no vaccine shortages, she said.

All students are required under state law to meet examination and immunization requirements before attending any public or private school in Hawaii.

They include group child-care homes, day nurseries, day-care and child-care centers, Head Start programs, preschool and kindergarten, as well as elementary, middle and secondary schools.

Immunizations are required for diphtheria; tetanus and pertussis; polio; measles, mumps and rubella; and varicella (chickenpox).

Students born after Dec. 31, 1992, and those entering seventh grade also must have hepatitis B shots. They aren't needed for students who had chickenpox and can document it.

Those entering school for the first time must have results of a tuberculosis examination and a completed health record form to prove a physical examination was completed, both within one year of entering school.

Families may submit a signed statement or appointment slip from a doctor to show a child has a physical examination scheduled or has begun the vaccination series and is waiting for the next shot.

School physicals can cost $120 per child or more and usually aren't covered by health insurance, said Mary Spadaro, Waikiki Health Center director of development. Some immunizations are free, but others add to the cost of preparing a child for school, she said.

In a partnership with the center, Hawaii Dental Service made a donation to start a canister drive for funds at supermarkets, convenience stores and fast-food restaurants through Labor Day weekend to help support the school physicals.

The money will enable the health center's primary care clinic in Waikiki and outreach clinics in Punaluu, Kahaluu and Haleiwa to offer school physicals for $50, Spadaro said.

The fee is less for those who meet income qualifications, and no one is turned away at Waikiki Health Center for inability to pay, she said.

Last year, the center had 945 visits from Oahu school-age children for physicals, immunizations and other health care, Spadaro said.

"With the help of our sponsors and partners, we hope to reach more children from low-income families who need help meeting school health requirements so they don't miss precious days of school," she said.

Children also can receive general health care at the Waikiki Health Center clinics, and eligible families can register their children for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which offers medical and dental coverage.

The state's Vaccines for Children and Teen Vax Programs also buy vaccines for children in some groups who can't afford to buy them, and doctors who join the programs can get the vaccines for patients.


The Waikiki Health Center's main clinic at 277 Ohua Ave. is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays.

The center's Ho'ola Like (Healers Together) outreach clinics are open as follows:

» Haleiwa clinic at Queen Liliuokalani Church, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. the first three Tuesdays of the month and 8 a.m. to noon the last Tuesday of the month.

» Kahaluu Clinic at the KEY Project, 8:30 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.

» Punaluu Clinic at the Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center, 8:30 a.m. to noon Thursdays.


For further information about immunization requirements, call the Hawaii Immunization Program at 586-8300 or visit www.vaxtoschool.com. For instructions and copies of the Student Health Record and Emergency Card, visit doe.k12.hi.us/parents.htm.

For more information about the center's clinics or to make a donation, call the development office at 922-4788 or send a check to the Ohua Avenue address, 96815.

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