(NY TIMES) – New York City will soon require young children who go to preschool or day care to receive flu shots. The Board of Health voted on Wednesday in favor of the mandatory vaccine for children under age 6.
Dr. Jay Varma, the deputy commissioner for disease control, said the vaccine could save lives and keep as many as about 20,000 city children from getting sick. He said actual vaccinations as part of the program were likely to be performed in fall 2014 and should be given before the end of December to be effective. The initiative takes effect in 30 days. The requirement will affect about 150,000 children.
Parents may opt out for medical and religious reasons. Opponents say mandatory vaccinations give parents little say in determining the best course of health management for their child.
Also see: OMSJ-Flu Shot-Mercury.