NEW YORK (AP) -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has declared a public health emergency for New York State because of the severity of the flu season.
Cuomo made the announcement Saturday. His executive order allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccinations to patients between 6 months and 18 years of age.
The order also suspends for the next month the section of State Education Law limiting the authority of pharmacists to administer immunizing agents only to individuals 18 years of age or older.
The order comes as nearly 20,000 cases of influenza have been reported in the state so far this season. That's more than four times the 4,400 positive laboratory tests reported all of last season.