BOSTON (AP) -- State officials are offering reassurances that there is plenty of vaccine still available for people who are still looking to get a flu shot.
Interim public health commissioner Lauren Smith said Thursday the state has distributed 760,000 doses of vaccine so far this season, and there remains ample supply. She said officials are working with local boards of health that are looking to open public clinics to meet the demand for flu shots.
Officials say there have been 6,000 laboratory confirmed cases of flu in Massachusetts and 18 flu-related deaths.
The city of Boston has declared a public health emergency in response to the harsh flu season.
Despite the higher-than-normal flu rates, Smith said there was no sign of a significant increase in school absenteeism around the state.