As Massachusetts and Virginia lead the country in a push toward mandatory vaccination for both COVID-19 and the flu (which public health experts worry could exacerbate the current COVID-19 outbreak), a large group of protesters converged outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston, holding signs that read "Unavoidably unsafe," "My child, my choice," "Parents call the shots" and "I am not a threat."
Written in chalk in front of the statehouse was the phrase "No forced shots". While some protesters wore masks, many didn't.
The protest were inspired by an Aug. 19 announcement that influenza immunization will be required for all children ages 6 months or older who are attending Massachusetts child care, pre-school, kindergarten, or K-12 schools.
In other words, children must be vaccinated, or else. Full-time undergraduate students, and graduate students under 30, will also be required to get the vaccine.
Activists insisted that "informed and voluntary consent" is a basic human right.
"The flu vaccine should not be a mandate. It should be a choice," Jessica Marchant said during a TV interview.