BOSTON (CBS) — Students across Massachusetts now have more time to get the flu shot so they can go to school next year.

Over the summer, state health officials announced all students 6 months and older in child care, pre-school, grades K-12 and college students need to get the shot by Dec. 31. Now, students have until the end of February to get vaccinated for the 2020-2021 school year.

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New students entering school before March 31 must get a flu vaccine for entry, according to the state.

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Some parents have protested the new requirement. Health experts have said it’s necessary in order to keep hospitalizations down as coronavirus cases rise during the winter.

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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Massachusetts is the first state to require the flu shot for K-12 and college students