Source: New York State Governor's Office
In response to the growing severity of the current flu season, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has declared a public health emergency for the entire state. Cuomo issued an executive order to allow pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to patients between ages six months and 18 years. This suspends, for 30 days, a section of State Education Law that allows pharmacists to administer vaccines only to individuals age 18 and older. New York state has reported 19,128 cases of influenza so far this season, compared to a total of 4,404 positive laboratory tests reported for all of the 2011-2012 season. Two children in New York and 18 children across the United States have died of the flu this season. Individuals who have not yet received a flu shot are encouraged to schedule one as soon as possible. Family members and people with regular contact with young children or high-risk individuals should receive a seasonal flu shot. The State Health Department will work closely with county, regional, and private healthcare partners and health departments to promote flu immunization.