Plan to expand kids’ access to flu shots weighed in N.J.

(Charles Krupa/AP Photo, file)

(Charles Krupa/AP Photo, file)

New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it more convenient for children to get a flu shot.

Current law allows pharmacists in New Jersey to administer vaccines to patients who are at least 18 years old.

A bill sponsored by Senate Health Committee chairman Joe Vitale would allow children as young as 7 to get flu shots at drug stores and supermarkets.

“Kids are in school. The parents are working. It’s not always convenient to just drop everything and get an appointment for the pediatrician and get to the doctor,” said Vitale, D-Middlesex. “Now you’d be able to go to Walgreens or Rite-Aid or any larger outfit that offers the flu vaccine and get it.”

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Senator Robert Singer, another sponsor, said it would make it easier for working parents to help their children avoid flu-related illnesses.

Children would need a parent’s permission to get a shot from a pharmacist. Kids between the ages of 7 and 11 also would be required to have a prescription from a licensed health care professional for the vaccine.

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