Colin Campbell and Jill Colvin
December 9, 2013
Autism advocates are set to protest tomorrow against a quiet effort by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to require annual flu vaccinations for all New York City schoolchildren.
On Wednesday, with just three weeks to go until he leaves office, Mr. Bloomberg’s controversial Board of Health is set to vote on new rules that would force children as young as six months old to be immunized each year before December 31 if they attend licensed day care or pre-school programs.
“Young children have a high risk of developing severe complications from influenza. One-third of children under five in New York City do not receive an annual influenza vaccination, even though the vaccine safely and effectively protects them against influenza illness,” the Health Department said in a statement. “This mandate will help protect the health of young children, while reducing the spread of influenza in New York City.”
The Board is stocked with mayoral appointees and controversial initiatives–from smoking bans to regulations on soda cup sizes–have sailed through with little opposition, angering a small, but passionate group of advocates who claim the vaccinations are potentially dangerous.
This article was posted: Monday, December 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm