NYC Mandating Flu Shots for Preschoolers

Sharon Otterman, reporting for the NYT:

The new rule, which applies to some 150,000 children in city-licensed day care centers and preschools, was quietly adopted by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the waning days of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration. This is the first flu season during which it applies. New York City joins New Jersey and Connecticut in implementing a mandatory flu vaccine for children between 6 months and 5 years of age.


The early signs in New York are positive, said Dr. Jane R. Zucker, the city’s assistant commissioner for immunization administration. By early December, vaccination rates among young children in the city had increased to nearly 67 percent from 62.5 percent the prior season. Vaccination rates also went up among other age groups, in part because of other education efforts, she said.

“It’s about protecting these young children from what can be a very serious illness and a potentially fatal illness,” Dr. Zucker said.