BOSTON (CBS) —  All students in Massachusetts will be required to get the flu vaccine before the end of the year. State public health officials made the announcement Wednesday, citing the importance of reducing flu-related illnesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Influenza immunization will be required for all children 6 months of age or older who are attending Massachusetts child care, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, and colleges and universities,” the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said in a statement.

Students are expected to get their flu vaccine by Dec. 31, 2020.

Exemptions will be made for medical or religious reasons, the state said. Homeschooled students and college students who are completely off campus and only learning remotely are also exempted.

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“On top of all the COVID-19 troubles, you may as well cut one thing out,” said Natick mom Jess Mantaro, when she heard the new announcement. “Especially this year. It’s one less thing to worry about if you get the flu shot. Hopefully it’s very effective this year.”

Massachusetts is the first state to require the flu shot for K-12 and college students, according to CNN. Only a few other states have flu vaccine requirements for daycare and preschool children under 5 years old.

“Every year, thousands of people of all ages are affected by influenza, leading to many hospitalizations and deaths,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director of DPH’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, in a statement. “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.”

New students who will be entering school between Jan. 1 and March 31 will need to be vaccinated first, the state said. A second dose of the flu vaccine in the same season may be recommended based on the child’s age and vaccination history, but it won’t be required for school entry.

Vaccines have always been controversial, and this one is no different. “One hundred percent, people should still have the choice I think,” said Dan Condin, from Natick. “Our country was founded upon individual liberty, and I still believe that in regards to shots.”

Comments (34)
  1. LA NUKKA says:

    Unconstitutional – file a lawsuit + delay. Cant enforce vaccines….

    1. Diane M says:

      Those days are long gone. The constitution is being systematically dismantled by instilling a climate of fear to a point where the once absurd is accepted without question. Fear can convince people of anything.

    2. klf says:

      The constitution allows for personal liberties when it does not effect the greater good. You should actually read the constitution one day, it’s fascinating how many posts are wrong.

      1. Patriot Fury says:

        I read the constitution, and you’re right. There is a clause about “When the public fears something or governors decide something”. It’s right there, in black and white, just after “Muskets only” in the 2nd amendment, and before “Free birth control”.

  2. JWS says:

    OK, Big Brother… We’ll all start lining up for the Victory Flu “Vaccine”…

    1. kellyek1 says:

      It says “Exemptions will be made for medical or religious reasons, the state said”. – Same as regular vaccines. You don’t HAVE to get it.

  3. eat me says:

    Kiss my ass charlie baker !!

  4. billygat says:

    So much for “my body my choice”.

  5. Charlie Commie says:

    Forced Health Insurance = Forced Mandates, Forced Lockdowns. Time to go to The Supreme Court concerning Romney Care and abolish it. There is a cure for the Flu and Covid-19, it’s simply recovering from it without any government help or testing. Kiss it, Charlie Parker!

  6. Charlie Commie says:

    Why is WBZ quoting CNN in this article? Let me guess, left-winged fanatics at WBZ drumming up Fake News. It’s time for conservative radio WRKO and 1200 AM to get rid of WBZ news piped at the top of the hour.

  7. Sharon Herkamp says:

    It is NOT their place to tell ANY parent on whether a child gets a flu shot. If this was my child, I would be refusing this 100%! The government needs to stay out of how a parent cares for their child. Ridiculous!

  8. And the sociopaths line up to harm others.

  9. beresponsible says:

    then just stay home instead of infecting others!

    1. Patriot Fury says:

      First of all, this mandate applies to 100% remote students as well, so there goes your theory on that. Second, why don’t YOU stay home if you’re afraid? My freedom doesn’t end where your fear begins. Don’t like it? Too bad.

  10. Deuce Bigelow says:

    What’s the efficacy of the flu vaccine? 20-25% effective every year. Might as well not even get it. The flu mutates annually. Stop being sheep.

  11. Cheryl L Moreau says:

    We are a free society and this should not be allowed, the government should not dictate the care of our children.

  12. Missy says:

    My cousin wanted to have her sons get a flu shot last year it was difficult to get the serum last year. Now we want to get all school persons inoculated good luck with that….

  13. AT says:

    The flu vaccine is not very effective and can cause susceptibility to some other diseases. There is *no* reason to make it mandatory – I hope that it gets challenged in court. I’m very frustrated with the Baker administration and their god complex.

  14. Ken Dupree II says:

    Such biased reporting.. Why were there not an equal number of people interviewed that were against it, allowing them to have air time to speak as to why they were against it? There is no way I would allow them to inject that virus and aborted fetal cells into my body.

  15. Ken Dupree II says:

    Two things Bill Gates is constantly talking about..Vaccines for the entire planet, and the other thing he’s been talking about for decades is population control for the planet. Now Moderna and Bill Gates are pushing DNA vaccines. Put 2 and 2 together people. Don’t be sheep. Don’t allow mandated vaccines to be pushed on our children and us. It’s dangerous and unconstitutional. We will not know what is in those vaccines. The masks are unconstitutional too. Covid deaths are less than seasonal flu. Why the extreme over reaction by government? Why are the people accepting all this fear mongering by the news media when the low death numbers are available for all to see? Too many things are not right with this. Don’t accept it

    1. Angie says:

      Please point to the section of the Constitution that says the government can’t mandate flu shots or masks. Which article? Which amendment? Which Supreme Court ruling? The absolutely idiocy of citing the Constitution without actually *knowing* the Constitution would be hilarious if it wasn’t such a bleak reflection of people’s intelligence.

      As for sheep, you’re the one buying into the absolutely insane nonsense about Bill Gates. Buying into conspiracy craziness hook, line, and sinker. Again, it would be funny if it didn’t reflect the complete and total infiltration of society from conspiracy nuts through social media. This country is screwed.

  16. free me says:

    Look up richie from boston on youtube
    We the people The government work for us.Stop giving them power

  17. Andrew Bogan says:

    Fascism is alive and well in the United States of America, and they are in our state government. Time to flee to another state where the local laws aren’t so draconian.

  18. stopgovmandates says:

    This Dictatorship HAS GOT TO STOP !!! KEEP YOUR PAWS OUT of our lives. Time to his BAKERISM TO CEASE.

  19. ManuelVEdwards says:

    I am making a good salary online from home.I’ve made 97,999 dollar.s so for last 5 months working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I’m just so happy that I found out about it…….. Read More     

  20. So the school district doesn’t read science? It’s established fact that flu vaccine lowers resistance to other kinds of respiratory infection, including coronavirus infection.

    Parents should either homeschool or find an education board that understands the importance of education.

  21. This is another severe case of “my vaccine won’t work if you don’t take yours” -STUPID!

    A forced medication mandate is NOT acceptable in this country, NEVER! This is also discrimination, not acceptable at all. Besides, the flu vaccine being experimental every year with no long term safety study, by the Nuremberg code, it is illegal to force it.

    That is besides the fact a Pentagone study found the flu vaccine is extremely detrimental…

  22. L Ferrero says:

    Time to homeschool!

  23. Leah says:

    When I was growing up, no kids got the flu shot. No children died from the flu.My area was filled with kids and everyone knew everyone. I certainly would have heard of it. This is new and basically a moneymaker. Why trust a healthcare system that has produced 54 percent of kids now having a chronic illness? Do the opposite of what they suggest.

  24. AT says:

    Mandatory COVID vaccine is next …

  25. Susan says:

    Are school employees required to get the flu vaccine?

  26. Crystal says:

    Although I do vaccinate my kids usually, we do not do flu shots and I don’t plan to this year. It does not make sense that the students are required but the staff is not. I made some anti flu shot shirts here

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