Flu Vaccine Now Required for all Massachusetts School Students Enrolled in Child Care, Pre-School, K-12, and Post-Secondary Institutions

The 2020-21 school year will see the addition of a new immunization requirement for influenza vaccine for attending childcare/preschool, grades kindergarten – 12 and postsecondary institutions. The documents, FAQ – Influenza Vaccine Requirement for Childcare Attendance for Children 6 Months of Age and OlderFAQ – Influenza Vaccine Requirement for School Attendance, and FAQ – Influenza Vaccine Requirement for Attendance at Postsecondary Institutions, answer frequently asked questions about the new requirement.

Students will be expected to have received a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020 for the 2020-2021 influenza season, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided. Also exempted are K-12 students who are homeschooled and higher education students who are completely off-campus and engaged in remote learning only. This new flu immunization requirement to enter school in January is in addition to existing vaccine requirements for all those attending child care, preschool, K-12, and colleges and universities in Massachusetts. Elementary and secondary students in districts and schools that are using a remote education model are not exempt.

All students in K-12 must receive the seasonal influenza vaccine annually by December 31. New students entering between January 1 and March 31 must have received a dose of vaccine for the current flu season before entry. 

Depending on the child’s age and flu vaccination history, a second dose of flu vaccine in the same season may be recommended. In these cases, the second dose is not required for school entry.

More information can be found here.

(source: https://www.mass.gov/news/flu-vaccine-now-required-for-all-massachusetts-school-students-enrolled-in-child-care-pre#:~:text=BOSTON%20%E2%80%94%20State%20public%20health%20officials,12%2C%20and%20colleges%20and%20universities.)

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