The State of Massachusetts has required all citizens older than six months who attend child care, pre-school, school and college to get an influenza vaccine by the end of 2020, health officials announced.
The Department of Health said the requirement will reduce the possibility of students suffering from a double whammy of respiratory illnesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Larry Madoff, the medical director of the department’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences issued a statement, saying, “Every year, thousands of people of all ages are affected by influenza, leading to many hospitalizations and deaths. 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 health care resources.”
The health department explained that homeschooled children and higher education students who are completely off-campus and engaged in remote learning only are exempted from the directive.