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Deadline for Mass. students to get flu vaccine extended

Massachusetts has extended its flu vaccine requirement deadline for students in school from December to February.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) said in August that the flu immunization would be required for all children ages 6 months or older in childcare, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, and colleges and universities.

“The new vaccine requirement is an important step to reduce flu-related illness and the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the MDPH said.

Students were expected to be vaccinated by Dec. 31 for the 2020-21 school year, unless a medical or religious exemption was provided, K-12 students were homeschooled or higher education students were completely off-campus and learning only remotely.

The MDPH updated their deadline on Dec. 22 saying current students must receive the flu vaccine by Feb. 28, and new students entering school before March 31 must have received a dose of the vaccine.

The immunization requirements do not apply to homeschooled students unless they need access to a school building for sports, school activities or any other reason, the MDPH said.

RELATED: As deadline nears for the state mandated flu shot, school districts see a moderate increase in vaccine exemptions

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