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This Mālama Ola Minute focuses on the importance of vaccinating your keiki. Learn some positive parenting practices, including how to decide on vaccines based on scientific evidence, in this column brought to you by the KS Health Services Department - Mālama Ola (To Care for Life).

Mālama Ola Minute: The importance of vaccinating your keiki

Apr. 26, 2019

Immunization is considered one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. The World Health Organization estimates that vaccines have prevented more than 10 million deaths between 2010 and 2015 – and countless other lives were protected from illness. April 24-30 is World Immunization Week – the perfect time to talk with your healthcare provider about recommended vaccinations that your keiki has not received. 

Parenting is an amazing, but often challenging, journey. With every milestone, you face new questions. How can you keep your child safe? How can you help them grow? The right choices aren’t always clear. Like many parenting topics, vaccination can feel overwhelming at first. The good news is there are clear recommendations, backed by extensive research:

  • Vaccination is a highly effective, easy way to keep your family healthy.
  • On-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
  • Vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.

Vaccinations not only help protect the individual who gets vaccinated, but they help prevent the spread of infection to others such as infants, pregnant women, kūpuna, and those with medical conditions. 
The State of Hawaiʻi has vaccination requirements for school entry. They have not been updated in more than 15 years and are among the most outdated requirements in the nation. However, education based on scientific evidence is important for informed decision-making. You can learn about recommended vaccines by age at the links below.


Vaccines for Your Children
The CDC’s overview of childhood immunization
Vaccine Safety:  Examine the Evidence
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC examine studies on immunization safety

The Risks and Responsibilities of Not Vaccinating Your Child
The CDC covers the consequences of delaying or rejecting childhood vaccines

Religious Concerns
The Immunization Action Coalition shares statements from religious organizations on vaccination

Hawai‘i K-12 Immunization Information
School Requirements

CDC Vaccine Recommendations:

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