Bill would mandate flu shots for all students pre-K through college

Health experts are predicting a so-called twindemic, or the convergence of the coronavirus and flu season, this fall. A group of state lawmakers, ​led by physician and Assembly Health Committee Chairman Herb Conaway, say they’re trying to get ahead of the potential impact by introducing legislation that’ll mandate a flu vaccine for all students, public or private from preschool to college. Annual flu vaccines are required for children to attend daycare or preschool, but not for grades K-12 or beyond.

While scientists and public health officials underscore the importance of flu vaccines in the current pandemic, in part because COVID-19 can cause symptoms similar to influenza, the bill might face some public opposition. Vaccine opponents stormed the State House in Trenton late last year, derailing legislation to repeal religious exemptions to state immunization requirements.

NJ Spotlight health care writer Lilo Stainton joins NJTV Senior Correspondent Briana Vannozzi with more about the proposal, which would make New Jersey the second state to require all students to be vaccinated against the flu.