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Lawsuit: Springfield Student Challenges New Flu-Shot Requirement For Mass. Students

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Justice Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons Quince Media

A Springfield graduate student and a Waltham mother are seeking to get the new flu vaccine requirement for all Massachusetts students thrown out by the courts.

A lawsuit was recently filed by Madison Schiltz, 27, a Springfield College graduate student, and Tamar Massoyan-Artinian, both claiming that Massachusetts did not follow proper procedures to create a flu-vaccine mandate, according to the Boston Herald. Therefore, they said, the rule should be vacated.

The new law, crafted to fight the spread of COVID-19, requires all children ages 6 months and older to receive the flu vaccine as a condition of attending child care, preschool, grade school, colleges, and universities. The vaccine is required for students who are participating in in-school as well as remote-learning.

The flu vaccine requirement was created by the Department of Public Health, whereas typically, new regulations are created or at least approved by the state Legislature. The DPH overstepped its authority, the lawsuit claims.

The case was filed in Suffolk Superior court.

In court documents, Schlitz says he is opposed to the mandate on principle, while the mother says she is opposed because her children have previously experienced negative reactions to the flu shot. She was unable to gain a medical exemption and so filed suit. 

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