Dear Parent or Guardian,
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, (105 CMR 220.500) beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, influenza vaccine will be required for school attendance for all students Kindergarten through Grade 12 each school year. Students must receive the vaccine for the current season by December 31, 2020. This does not apply to students who have a medical or religious exemption.
This new requirement is in addition to the existing school immunization requirements. Students that are using remote education are not exempt, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided.
You should work with your child’s doctor to get his/her immunization record or vaccination that is missing. If you are unable to get an immunization appointment with your child’s health care provider, call your local health department.
If you have questions about immunizations that are required for school, please call your child’s doctor or the school nurse. The updated table of immunization requirements for the upcoming school year can be found at www.mass.gov/doc/immunization-requirements-for-school-entry-0/download.
Nichole Russell, RN
Update: September 1, 2020
The timing of flu can vary from season to season. However, the seasonal flu activity most commonly peaks between December and March, but flu viruses can cause illness from early October to late May.
Therefore, a flu shot that was given during last year's flu season is not going to protect against this year's flu. Each year, research is done to formulate a "cocktail " against possible viruses that might occur.
For protection against the flu, vaccines are typically given in October or later, as the flu season typically starts in December. However, doctors may give them starting in September if students are in their office and the opportunity presents itself.
Please ask your child’s pediatrician to fax over the vaccine documentation that they received prior to December 31, 2020. My fax number is 413-458-2343, email or mail is fine too. If you choose to use a pharmacy, then please ask them to provide the documentation you can give to the school for proof of immunization.
Lastly, please note, we are currently collaborating with Berkshire Public Alliance to conduct a flu clinic here at Mount Greylock. The tentative date is October 3, 2020; more details to come.
Nichole Russell RN