State requires vaccinations for children to attend school
Question: With the recent article about the Legislature failing to take up this session a bill to adopt federal vaccination guidelines, the question came to mind as to whether there is any firm requirement in Hawaii for children?
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Question: With the recent article about the Legislature failing to take up this session a bill to adopt federal vaccination guidelines, the question came to mind as to whether there is any firm requirement in Hawaii for children to be vaccinated and/or to have a certain number of vaccinations in order to attend school, and, if there is, are there any exemptions permitted for parents who are opposed to vaccination, period, or at least to the large number of vaccinations that seem to be suggested?
Answer: Yes, Hawaii state law requires that all students be immunized against certain dangerous, contagious diseases before they attend any public or private school in the state. Religious and medical exemptions are allowed, but must be well documented — simply objecting to the vaccination schedule, for example, wouldn’t qualify. Besides vaccinations, entering students also must have a tuberculosis clearance.
The basic requirements are spelled out in Hawaii Revised Statutes, Sections 302A-1154 through 302A-1157. Administrative rules for the state Department of Health supply specifics beyond that. Here is a general overview:
>> No child “shall attend any school in Hawaii unless the child presents to the appropriate school official documentation satisfactory to the Department of Health that the child has received immunizations against communicable diseases as required by the Department of Health.”
>> To attend preschool, children must be immunized against DTaP/DTP/Td (diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis), polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), hepatitis B, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B) and varicella (chickenpox). The requirements for kindergarten through grade 12 include DTaP/DTP/Td, polio, MMR, hepatitis B and varicella.
>> Provisional attendance is allowed, as long as a doctor or other authorized health official documents in writing that the child is receiving the required vaccinations. They must be completed within three months of the child entering school, or within the minimum interval required for the doses. The Health Department may suspend provisional attendance when there is danger of an epidemic from any disease for which immunization is required.
>> Exemptions are allowed if “a licensed physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse certifies that the physical condition of the child is such that immunizations would endanger the child’s life or health” or if a parent or guardian “objects to immunization in writing on the grounds that the immunization conflicts with that person’s bona fide religious tenets and practices.”
>> The Health Department may refuse to recognize any exemption if there is a danger of an epidemic from any of the diseases for which immunization is required. Quarantine shall be a legal alternative to immunization.
You can read more details, including on the intervals for scheduled doses, at 808ne.ws/1ShGeNt.
Q: I witnessed a car with a safety check that expires in the year 2018. … I don’t think that would be allowed as cars do not sustain the same safety condition for two years. … I have provided a photo and would like to know if the safety check sticker in the photo is indeed correct or if it is an error.
A: The safety sticker is correct. The photograph you provided shows a new car, bought at an Oahu dealership, which means that its initial safety inspection lasts two years (through January 2018, in this case). The car must be inspected annually after that, like all other used cars in Hawaii.
The two-year inspection allowance applies only to “new vehicles that are sold locally by a new-car dealer,” explained Sheri Kajiwara, director of the city Department of Customer Services.
Vehicles must pass safety inspections for the owners to register a vehicle, renew a registration or transfer an out-of-state vehicle registration to Hawaii.
Even out-of-state vehicles that have months left on their registrations from the previous state must pass a Hawaii safety inspection. Once that is accomplished, the previous registration remains valid in Hawaii until it expires or for up to 12 months, whichever comes first.
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