Physician viewpoint: Schools should require flu shots before in-person classes

Schools should require students and staff members to get the flu shot before resuming in-person classes this fall, two physicians wrote in an op-ed for Bloomberg.

The op-ed's authors are:

  • Anupam Jena, MD, PhD, the Ruth L. Newhouse associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and physician at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • Christopher Worsham, MD, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School's department of health care policy and critical care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital 

Hospitals are often overrun with flu patients every winter, which can strain capacity. A school flu shot requirement would help control the spread of flu this season and help hospitals maintain capacity to treat COVID-19 patients, the physicians said.

To eliminate Americans' barriers to receiving a flu shot, they recommended that the U.S.  increase vaccine availability at pharmacies, lift requirements that young children get vaccinated in a physician's office and ensure flu shots are free. 

"Doing so will help get both viruses under control and move us toward the 'new normal' we all so desperately await," Drs. Jena and Worsham wrote.

To view the full op-ed, click here.

More articles on public health:
27 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Aug. 5
Polio-like condition in kids likely to spike in coming months, CDC warns
States ranked by COVID-19 cases — Aug. 5

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