The state's health and education officials on Thursday launched its flu shot program aimed to cut the number of sick students and faculty at Hawaii's schools.
State health officials said this summer the seasonal flu rate has been higher than usual.
The Department of Health said it prepared to respond to a very busy flu season this fall.
In preparation, the DOH is gearing up for its third annual "Stop the Flu at School" program. From October to December, free seasonal flu vaccinations will be available to elementary and middle school students and faculty.
"We can understand why they're the prime candidates because of their physical activity they can easily transmit the influenza," said Daniel Hamada, of the Department of Education.
"It's a very serious illness that can be prevented with a simple vaccination," state Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said.
In the last two years, 120,000 students and 15,000 faculty members have been vaccinated in the program.
The program will reach 334 public, private and charter schools.
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