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Mother Hopes for New Regulations Regarding Flu Shots

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- October to May is the eight-month period each year known as the flu season.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- October to May is the eight-month period each year known as the flu season.

Recently, there has been a push for adults to get the vaccine as more and more people are dying from the virus, but some worry children in the Natural State may need an extra level of protection.

Cooper Hayes is 7 months old and his mother Elizabeth said he has been diagnosed with the flu.

Elizabeth wondered how her baby got the flu, but she said it's difficult not to think it came from her daycare.

"It's hard whenever you drop your child off at daycare, and its 6 in the morning or 6:30, and you have to get to work and a worker says, 'Oh I just can't get over this cold,' well what am I supposed to do?" she said. "I just don't know what to do."

In Arkansas, child care workers are not mandated to have the flu shot.

"Our guidelines are that we strongly recommend that those workers be immunized," said Dr. Gary Wheeler from the Arkansas Health Department.

According to Amy Webb from the Department of Human Services, new regulations could be on the way.

"We have drafted the regulations that would require flu vaccinations for childcare workers, and we have had a couple of public meetings with providers," she said.

Webb added that these regulations could be passed as early as next flu season. The regulations will head to the legislature soon for committee meetings and public comment, before being passed by lawmakers.


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