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BOSTON (CBS) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has decided not to mandate a flu vaccine for students for the 2020-21 school year.

The Department of Public Health said Friday it has removed the vaccine mandate for students, which was announced last summer, and extended in December 2020. Massachusetts was the first state to require the flu shot for K-12 and college students.

The Commonwealth said a with a mild flu season, it wants to focus on administering COVID-19 vaccines instead.

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“Preliminary data show that this has been a mild flu season to date, presumably as people have received their seasonal flu vaccine and have been adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing due to COVID-19 Given the intensive Commonwealth-wide efforts regarding COVID-19 vaccination, DPH wants to alleviate the burden to obtain flu vaccination and focus on continuing our COVID-19 vaccination efforts,” said the state’s health department.

Under the order issued in summer 2020, every one age 6 months or older in Massachusetts child care, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, colleges and universities was required to get their vaccine by the end of December. The order was extended to end of February in December 2020.

According to Mass Dept. of Public Health, about 80% of K-12 students in Massachusetts got a flu vaccine last year.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.