Massachusetts has mandated that all school-aged children must get a flu vaccine if they intend to attend in-person school. Unless they are medically or religiously exempt, the Department of Public Health announced in a press release on Wednesday, that all school kids must get a flu vaccine by December 31.
The immunization mandate will be required for all children 6 months of age or older who plan to attend child care, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, colleges and universities in the state.
Elementary and secondary students who are homeschooled and college/university students who are attending 100% of their classes remotely are also exempt. However, K-12students that are using a remote education model are not exempt from the requirement.
The flu vaccine requirement also applies to all full-time students under 30 years of age whether they are undergraduate or graduate students. It also applies to all full- and part-time health science students.
From the press release:
“Every year, thousands of people of all ages are affected by influenza, leading to many hospitalizations and deaths,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, Medical Director, DPH’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences. “It is more important now than ever to get a flu vaccine because flu symptoms are very similar to those of COVID-19 and preventing the flu will save lives and preserve healthcare resources.”