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New Massachusetts flu vaccine requirement for K-12 students

Dear Monomoy Families -

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently issued new vaccination requirements for K-12 students. Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, influenza vaccine will be required for all students. Influenza vaccine is always important to receive to reduce the risk of getting sick with influenza, reduce the severity of disease if one does get sick (including the risk of hospitalization) due to influenza, as well as preventing the spread of influenza to others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza vaccine will be especially critical to reduce the overall impact of respiratory illness on the population, protect vulnerable populations from severe illness, and decrease the overall burden on the healthcare system.

  • Students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 will be required to receive influenza vaccine for the current influenza season for school attendance unless they have a medical or religious exemption.
  • Students must receive influenza vaccine for the current season by December 31, 2020.
  • Any age-appropriate licensed influenza vaccine for the current season fulfills the requirement. This includes injectable and nasal spray vaccine types.
  • The school immunization requirements, including the requirement for seasonal influenza vaccine, apply to all Massachusetts students enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 12, regardless of whether the district is providing instruction in-person, or using a hybrid or remote learning model.
  • Immunization requirements, including the flu immunization requirement, do not apply to homeschooled students unless the student will ever need to access the school building for sports, after-school activities, or any other reason.

The full list of Massachusetts School Immunization Requirements, as well as detailed FAQs about the new requirement, can be found on our website here. Please contact your child's school nurse if you have questions or concerns.

To obtain influenza vaccine, contact your primary care physician. Flu vaccines are also available at pharmacies and at clinics held by municipalities. Please continue to take the steps that will keep our entire community safe and healthy - wear a face mask, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands often.

Thank you!

Cheryl Dufault, BSN, RN, NCSN
MRSD Nurse Leader/MRHS School Nurse