ALBANY, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News) Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken steps to make it easier for New Yorkers to get the influenza vaccine as the flu epidemic continues to spread across the state.
The Democrat signed an executive order Thursday that allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to people ages two to 18. The order suspends a state law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer vaccines to anyone under age 18.
The governor also ordered the Department of Health to expand the state's influenza public service advertising campaign to target areas of New York hit hardest by flu.
State health officials say the number of reported flu cases rose over the past week to 7,779 laboratory-confirmed cases, with 1,759 New Yorkers requiring hospitalization. That's up from 1,606 hospitalized the previous week. The latest numbers reported by Monroe County show at least 5 deaths so far this flu season