Parents protest student flu shot mandate in Massachusetts

                          Protests held over Mass. flu shot mandate intended to prevent overwhelming healthcare system

                          BOSTON (WBZ) - Hundreds of parents gathered in Boston to protest a new flu shot mandate for Massachusetts students that they claim constitutes government overreach.

                          Hoisting signs and chanting loudly, parents protested the new student flu shot mandate outside the state house in Boston on Sunday. State health officials announced earlier this month that all students 6 months old through college will be required to get the flu vaccine.

                          “We think that’s complete government overreach, and we’re here to fight for all the kids,” one parent said. “They shouldn’t have to get the flu shot.”

                          The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says the mandatory flu shots are an important step to reduce flu-related illness and the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

                          According to the MDPH, every child going to school, including public, private and virtual learners, must receive a shot. The only people excused are those who have medical or religious reasons or those who are being fully home-schooled.

                          But the protesters say the government is going way too far.

                          “They are forcing us to inject something into our child that we don’t agree with,” parent Mike Megna said.

                          Xavier Cordy, 10, and his mother, Jennifer Cordy, attended the protest. They say they are not going to get the flu shot.

                          “I don’t like random things just going into my body without my consent, so I don’t like it,” Xavier said.

                          His mother says she is even thinking about home-schooling her son unless the mandate is reversed.

                          “I’ve been really stressed out about it… but I am not going to let them pressure me into getting the flu shot,” she said. “I just believe that we should be able to choose what goes in my son’s body. We should be able to say yes or no, and the government shouldn’t choose that for us.”

                          The deadline for state students to get their flu shot for this school year is December 31.

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