Aloha KS Kapālama Middle School Parents,
Four students at KS Kapalama Middle School were diagnosed with Chickenpox disease (also called Varicella) this week. Chickenpox is a viral illness that causes fever and an itchy rash with red bumps and blisters. Chickenpox is usually mild, but rarely, can have serious consequences including severe skin infection, pneumonia, brain damage, or death.
Chickenpox is highly contagious and is spread from person to person through the air or through contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. Students with chickenpox are excluded from school until all blisters are completely scabbed over to prevent spread of the disease. This usually leads to exclusion from school for about 5-7 days.
Until now, KS has required each student receive only one dose of Chickenpox Vaccine.
Effective immediately, we have adopted new requirements for the Chickenpox Vaccine to prevent spread of this highly contagious disease at KS Kapalama Middle School. These new requirements are based on the 2009 Immunization Schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices:
1. Each student is required to receive two doses of the Chickenpox Vaccine (also known as the Varicella Vaccine) and physician must document dates of administration,
2. If the student has already had the chickenpox disease, student does not need to receive the two chickenpox vaccine doses, BUT physician must verify and document date of chickenpox disease
3. If student can not receive the chickenpox vaccine because he/she has a disease/condition for which the chickenpox vaccine is medically contraindicated, physician must document the medical reason why student cannot receive the chickenpox vaccine.
We strongly urge all parents to call and make a physician appointment immediately for your child to receive his/her second Chickenpox Vaccination as soon as possible, especially since all students have no school Friday, Feb. 13, and Saturday, Feb. 14. The sooner each student gets his/her second Chickenpox Vaccination, the safer he/she will be against getting Chickenpox the disease.
We will require all KS Kapalama Middle School students to be in compliance with these new Chickenpox Vaccine Requirements by Monday, March 30, 2009. A copy of this memo and aVaricella/Chickenpox Update Form has been mailed to you. Any information we have on file regarding your child’s Varicella immunization is indicated on this form.
This letter is available in PDF here: PDF of Original Chickenpox Letter
Dr. Maile A. Jachowski, Medical Director
Kamehameha Schools Kapālama