Flu shot mandate for students should apply to teachers, doctors say


As the final countdown is on for schools to reopen across the Commonwealth, some health experts are raising a question about the state’s new flu shot mandate. All students are required to get a flu shot by the end of the year — unless they apply for an exemption. The goal, the state says, is to not only minimize the risk of hospitals being overwhelmed by flu cases and COVID-19 — but to keep schools open. Some doctors tell The Herald in order for the strategy to work, the rule should also be mandated for teachers. They point out similar requirements are already in place in other fields — like for those who work in hospitals. The Department of Public Health said state law allows the agency to require shots for students, but not for others. “There are vaccination recommendations for teachers… but not requirements. We strongly recommend that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine every year,” DPH officials said,The Massachusetts Teachers Association does not provide guidance for members on flu shots.

As the final countdown is on for schools to reopen across the Commonwealth, some health experts are raising a question about the state’s new flu shot mandate.

All students are required to get a flu shot by the end of the year — unless they apply for an exemption.

The goal, the state says, is to not only minimize the risk of hospitals being overwhelmed by flu cases and COVID-19 — but to keep schools open.

Some doctors tell The Herald in order for the strategy to work, the rule should also be mandated for teachers. They point out similar requirements are already in place in other fields — like for those who work in hospitals.

The Department of Public Health said state law allows the agency to require shots for students, but not for others.

“There are vaccination recommendations for teachers… but not requirements. We strongly recommend that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine every year,” DPH officials said,

The Massachusetts Teachers Association does not provide guidance for members on flu shots.



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