A New York City mandate has parents pulling their children from preschool to avoid having to give them a flu shot.

By Melissa Willets
November 17, 2015
Credit: Shutterstock

In New York City, some parents feel they are being forced to choose between giving their preschool-age kids the flu shot and continuing their education. That's because a new mandate requires all children younger than 5 to get the shot, or they'll be barred from school after December 31.

Claiming they aren't anti-vaccine, the NYC parents say they don't want the city to tell them what to do with their children's health, adding that they believe the flu shot is ineffective. Last year's dose did little to protect against prevalent strains of the sometimes-fatal infection. Even the Centers for Disease Control admit the vaccine was only 23 percent effective.

Many parents also question the safety of the flu shot, since last year, eight children younger than 17 died due to complications from the shot. It's worth noting, though, that nearly 150 kids died from the actual flu in the same time period.

New York City's mandate is currently being challenged by a lawsuit, and has inspired a Change.org petition, in addition to other tactics to avoid immunization, such as saying doctors' offices have waiting lists for the vaccine.

But schools must honor the mandate, or else they face hefty fines and the possible loss of their licenses for allowing unvaccinated kids to come back to class after the New Year.

A stone's throw from the city in suburban New Jersey, my daughter's preschool is requiring her to get vaccinated, or else she cannot return to school after December 31 either.

Despite my misgivings about the effectiveness of the flu shot, I ended up trudging over to the CVS Minute Clinic to get the entire family vaccinated. I figure even if the shot is as unreliable as it was last year, some protection is better than none. And I'm sure as heck not going to keep my 5-year-old home from school next year, because then my sanity is what would be unreliable.

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.

Comments (1)

January 9, 2019
Every single Parent in NYC should ban together and stand against the FLU shot. It is highly toxic. Every single parent in the United States needs to know Vaccines can and do cause Autism. This was told to DOJ attorneys in 2007 and the CDC failed to notify the public. Robert Kennedy Jr. has just filed a fraud law suit against this very thing and the Vaccination Debate that Sheryl attkisson did on full measure. Literal silence form the CDC -- wake up parents. File a religious exemption and get out of shooting toxic poison into your child. This vaccine contains thimerosal, polysorbate 80, Tritonx100, Darby Kidney cells (dog ) and much much more... sadly, you failed to report that out of the 150 dead from the flu over 70% had received the FLU shot. Very convenient wording on your part. You also failed to disclose that the 150 dead had many included who were already severely immune compromised and the 8 that died from the vaccine were perfectly healthy individuals before this vile vial touched their bodies. How about some actual facts next time.