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Just in time for National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 8-14), Mayor Bloomberg’s health initiative requiring children enrolled in city preschools and day care facilities to be vaccinated for the flu by Dec 31 each year was approved by the Board of Health in NYC.
In addition to many others including measles, whooping cough and chicken pox, children under 5 are required to receive vaccinations for seven diseases. Now, in New York City influenza will be added to the list. These requirements were designed to stop the spread of disease and protect young children who have an increased risk of developing serious complications, like pneumonia, from influenza.
However, the issue of requiring a flu vaccine – a vaccine that has a history of being administered at parental discretion – has become almost as controversial as the soda ban. While many parents see this regulation as beneficial to the city’s young children, others feel that the flu vaccine is unnecessary, as some children contract the flu regardless of whether or not they receive a flu shot.