ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is extending an emergency executive order that allows pharmacists across New York state to administer flu vaccines to children ages two to 18.

The Democrat announced the extension Thursday as influenza cases continued to rise. State health officials say more than 18,250 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu were reported last week. That's the highest weekly number since reporting started in 2004.

The number of hospitalizations reported last week decreased for the second straight week, with 2,160 residents hospitalized with confirmed cases.

Cuomo's order was initially issued in late January. It suspends the state law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer immunizing doses to anyone under 18.

Since December, more than 87,600 confirmed cases of the flu have been reported to state health officials.

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