Unless there's a medical or religious exemption, flu shots will be necessary by December 31 for all students in Massachusetts.

I categorically support the new requirement, as an important step to reduce flu-related sickness, especially with COVID-19 still impacting us. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health just made the announcement that makes an exception for homeschooled children; however, doesn't spare elementary and secondary school children that are using a remote learning model. College students who are entirely off-campus will also be excused from the mandate.

The flu is obviously contagious and spreads the same way COVID-19 does, mainly through droplets when we cough, sneeze or talk, which is why wearing face masks is important. Flu vaccines cannot cause flu and they are very safe for most people.

For the anti-vaxxers who complain the shot can kill them or their children, the threat of dying from the flu is just as dangerous. Every year thousands of people of all ages are affected by influenza, leading to so many hospitalizations and deaths.

There are certain groups who either can't or shouldn't get the shot, and your healthcare professional is the one to ask. However, for most of us, getting the vaccine will help grow antibodies in us that provide protection against infection from flu viruses.

Americans overwhelmingly support vaccinations by 80 percent, but the loud opposition to them protest with messages like "Don't join the plandemic." They think there's a conspiracy in our health networks that is planned and orchestrated to master us.

Now that's sick, if you ask me.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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