Yearly Flu Vaccine Will be Mandatory for Young Children

Please, read. This is important news for parents with very young children who are considering enrolling in daycare or preschool in the future. We found this on   [caption id="attachment_1091" align="alignnone" width="300"] Image taken from[/caption] "UPDATED: Board of Health Votes To Require Mandatory Flu Shots For Kids  BY ERIN DURKIN City kids under age 5 who attend daycares or pre-schools will be required to get annual flu shots after the Board of Health voted Wednesday to approve the mandate. flushot.jpg The board, controlled by Mayor Bloomberg, unanimously signed off on his latest public health crusade - requiring the vaccine for tots as young as six months old. The requirements will apply to about 150,000 kids, officials said. City officials say the rules are necessary because young kids are especially vulnerable to catching and passing on the flu - and more likely to develop serious health complications if they do get it. “Children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk of both contracting influenza as well as suffering severe complications including hospitalization and deaths,” said Dr. Jay Varma, a deputy health commissioner. Some 167 kids died from the flu in the 2012-13 season, including 4 in New York City, he said. The requirement will also protect adults because germy toddlers often spread the flu, he said. The rules will apply to kids from six months to four years and 11 months who attend daycare centers and school-based programs. It doesn’t apply to kids who go to daycares housed in someone’s home because those are regulated by the state. For the first year, health officials will only warn centers about the rules, but starting in December 2014 they will be subject to fines. Opponents say it’s an unnecessary government intrusion on parents’ choices. “The board here just decided preschool and daycare children in New York City are the only people in the state of New York now who have to get flu shots by law, which is somewhat absurd,” said John Gilmore, executive director of the Autism Action Network. “I don’t think you could get any more authoritarian than that,” he said. “We think that they wildly exaggerate the benefits of the flu shot and they completely dismiss any potential risks.” Opponents held a protest against the new rules on the City Hall steps Tuesday. Varma said there’s no scientific basis for concerns about the safety of the vaccine. “That is a constant struggle between the rights of people to determine what goes in and out of their body, but also those rights have limits to them of course when you’re dealing with infections which can be readily transmitted among people and lead to outbreaks,” he said. “Vaccination requirements are one area in which the health and benefit of the community trumps individual civil liberties.” Other advocates support the requirement. “It will save lives,” said Richard Kanowitz, president of Families Fighting Flu, whose daugher Amanda died of the flu at age 4 in 2004. “It’s our belief that if she had been vaccinated she would be here today.”"
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