Earlier this month, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a public health mandate that requires nearly all students in the state to get a flu shot before the end of the calendar year.
The goal behind this requirement, according to Baker, is to reduce flu-related illness while the nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health officials fear concurrent outbreaks of the flu and COVID-19 could overwhelm the state’s health care system.
The mandate includes anyone 6 months or older in child care centers, preschool, kindergarten, K-12 schools, and colleges and universities. Students can be exempt if they have a religious or medical exemption, are home-schooled, or are a higher education student living off-campus and taking remote-only classes.
On Sunday, August 30th, protestors gathered outside the State House demanding the order be rescinded. Demonstrators were quoted saying they feel the mandate is an overreach of the government and that they are concerned about losing control of their medical decisions.
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