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Connecticut parents now required by law to vaccinate children against flu by Dec. 31


The clock is ticking

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Connecticut parents of pre-K children are required to vaccinate their children against the flu if they want to go to school in the fall — and have until Dec. 31 to complete the treatment.

What are the details?

According to WTNH-TV, the State Department of Public Health in Connecticut is requiring that children between the ages of 2 and 4 years old receive their annual flu shot by the end of December.

If parents refuse to vaccinate their children against the flu, those children will not be able to attend school until they obtain the flu shot. The state does offer a religious exemption.

According to the station, 20,000 U.S. children under the age of 5 contract the flu and are hospitalized as a result every year.

Both the Department of Public Health and local health departments are offering free or low-cost clinics to Connecticut residents — as well as children — to obtain their annual flu shots.

What else?

WVIT-TV reported that 151 Connecticut residents tested positive for the flu, and 55 of that number were hospitalized as a result of the diagnosis. So far this season, Connecticut has seen one flu-related death.

In a statement, Dr. Raul Pino, who is commissioner of the DPH, said, "The best protection against the flu is to get vaccinated. I strongly encourage all residents to get a flu shot, if they haven't already — now is the perfect time."

He added, "While we do not yet know how severe this flu season will be, last year's was the worst flu season in many, many years. Last season, we had over 14,000 people test positive for flu, more than 3,800 individuals hospitalized due to flu, and more than 180 deaths associated with the flu."

Public health officials have issued a recommendation that adults and children over the age of 6 months get vaccinated against the flu.

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