Many students have gathered outside the Massachusetts Statehouse to protest against the state’s mandate over the new flu vaccine. This flu vaccine mandate states that influenza vaccination is mandatory for all the children who are 6 months and older. Children, who are attending Massachusetts childcare, pre-school, kindergarten and K-12, are required to get the new flu shots. The new order further says that full-time undergraduate and graduate students who are under 30 also need to be immunized. Fulltime or part-time health and science students who are going to school in the state need to be vaccinated as well. Protesters have been demanding that flu shots should not be mandatory rather it should be a choice.
This mandate comes after many schools in the state are preparing to resume normal daily schedule amid this COVID19 pandemic. Hundreds of students along with their parents have participated in the protest. Many protesters have said that officials are taking advantage of fear rooted by the virus. They also have claimed that with this new mandate people will have to rearrange their lives. Many campaigners have damned the state’s decision saying with this dictate, parents will have to home school their children. There has also been resistance over making masks mandatory everywhere including schools due to the COVID19 plague across the state.
As COVID19 cases are surging in the region, experts have been indicating that it will turn out to be a ‘twindemic’ of flu and coronavirus. As per medical experts, children are supposed to be more susceptible to seasonal flu than COVID19. They have said that children who are under 5 years might develop serious complications due to seasonal flu. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well agree to this analysis. Scientists have urged to people saying that it is more essential now to be immunized, as the symptoms of flu are quite similar to symptoms of COVID19. They have claimed that averting flu will also save health resources and machinery. Considering the need of the hour, this mandate clearly states children should be immunized on an annual basis. No religious and medical exemptions will be entertained under the new order on flu vaccination.