Pharmacists in Montana will be able to give flu vaccinations to children age 12 and older under a new law effective Saturday.

Prior law allowed pharmacists to give flu shots only to people 18 years old or older. Senator Jim Keane, a Butte Democrat, sponsored the change that was approved by the Legislature last session by a wide margin.

The measure applies to both injected and inhaled vaccinations.

Corey Heffernan with the Montana Pharmacy Association says the change will allow parents to take their children to get a flu shot without an appointment. The Federal Centers for Disease Control says 115 children and teens died from influenza last flu season in the United States.

Associated Press