Massachusetts students are no longer required to get the flu vaccine this school year, health officials announced Friday, citing a mild flu season and a need to concentrate on getting people vaccinated for COVID-19.
Nevertheless, health officials are still recommending that people have their children get the seasonal flu vaccination every year, regardless of the requirement being dropped.
The Massachusetts Department of Health had announced in August that all students, as well as kids at least 6 months old who are in day care, must get the flu vaccine before the year's end. That requirement was then pushed back to the end of February.
But on Friday, health officials removed the requirement. The flu season has been mild this year, they said, and efforts are focusing on COVID-19 vaccinations in the state.
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"Preliminary data show that this has been a mild flu season to date, presumably as people have received their seasonal flu vaccine and have been adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing due to COVID-19. Given the intensive Commonwealth-wide efforts regarding COVID-19 vaccination, DPH wants to alleviate the burden to obtain flu vaccination and focus on continuing our COVID-19 vaccination efforts," a statement from the department of health said.