Flu Epidemic Prompts Executive Order For Vaccinations

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order to combat the flu epidemic in New York. The executive order allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children ages 2 to 18.

The order suspends the law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer immunizing agents to anyone under age 18 to allow vaccines to be administered to anyone age 2 and up.

The order comes as the number of reported influenza cases across the state continues to rise. Over the past week, 7,779 laboratory confirmed flu cases were reported to the state and 1,759 New Yorkers have been hospitalized with confirmed influenza.

These are the highest weekly numbers in both categories since reporting began in 2004 and surpass last week’s previous high of 1,606 hospitalizations.

Parents and guardians with children between the ages of 6 months and 24 months are still encouraged to see their primary care provider for the vaccination.

To receive a flu shot, contact your local health care provider or pharmacy, or find information about vaccination clinics by contacting your local health department.

Flu shots may also be found through the HealthMap Vaccine Finder at www.vaccinefinder.org.

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