Flu shots will now be required for all students in Massachusetts schools, from child care through colleges, the Department of Public Health announced Wednesday.
Students older than six months will have to be vaccinated by Dec. 31, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided.
“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,” officials wrote in an announcement of the new policy.
Students who are homeschooled are exempt from the policy, but health officials said students at elementary and secondary schools that are using a remote learning model are not exempt.
College or university students who are entirely off-campus will also be exempt from the mandate.