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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, November 7, 2002

Fall behind on vaccines and you risk outbreak

Parents, allow us to present a case for immunization: If immunization rates are low, we risk outbreaks of horrible diseases such as measles, mumps and chickenpox.

Immunizations are the reason these diseases have been largely kept at bay.

Then why has Hawai'i's immunization rate dropped from 81.7 percent to 72.8 percent, ranking it No. 47 among the 50 states? Health officials and parents who have fallen behind in their children's immunizations say a contributing factor to the decline is a lack of health insurance.

We sympathize, but it's really not good enough. For instance, people age 6 to 18 qualify for free vaccines under the Hawai'i Immunization Program's TEEN VAX Project through the end of 2002.

So take advantage, and keep everyone in Hawai'i safe from an outbreak that we might not be able to fight off.