NYC Cannot Force Preschoolers in City-Regulated Day-Care Facilities to Get Flu Shot

NYC Cannot Force Preschoolers in City-Regulated Day-Care Facilities to Get Flu Shot

According to a recent ruling by a state judge, New York City cannot ask preschoolers to get a flu shot. With its recent decision, the judge has sided with a group of mothers who sued last month arguing that only the state Legislature has the authority to require certain immunizations.

State Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez with the latest ruling has blocked a 2013 city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene rule.

The mothers’ attorney, Aaron Siri, on the decision to immunize a child against influenza said that till the time the right is taken away, it solely remains in hands of the parents whether to give their child flu shots or not.

Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a statement that she is very disappointed with today’s decision as the flu vaccination helps to save several lives.

As per the rule passed by the Board of Health in the final days of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, over 100,000 children between 6 and 59 months who attend city-regulated, nonfamily day-care facilities need to get a flu shot every year.

Under the rule, day-care operators and principals could refuse children who could not document they were vaccinated. Operator could be fined between $200 and $2,000 for not following the rule.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 20,000 children under 5 years of age are hospitalized every year due to complications from the flu. Children below two years of age are the most common sufferers.

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