A Proposal to Require Flu Vaccines for Preschool

  1. the new jersey public health council is expected to vote tomorrow on a rule that would require flu vaccines for any child entering day care or preschool. if it is approved, new jersey would become the first state in the country to impose that mandate.
    the flu vaccine is one of four that the council will consider. there is a vaccine that would be given to children entering day care or preschool to protect against pneumonia, and two others that would be given to those entering sixth grade: one to guard against meningococcal disease, a fast-killing strain of meningitis, and the other an additional booster of a three-part shot already administered at a younger age against tetanus, pertussis and diphtheria.
    if approved, the meningococcal vaccine requirement would also be a first in the nation for public school students. currently, massachusetts requires this vaccine for high school students at boarding schools. new jersey and other states also mandate this vaccine for college students living in dormitories.
    source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/ny...?ref=education accessed 12/9/07.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Diary/Dairy
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071208/...tiMJuGBf2s0NUE

    TRENTON, N.J. - Parents concerned about possible vaccine dangers and government intrusion are trying to block New Jersey from becoming the first state to require flu shots for preschoolers.


    The Public Health Council on Monday is set to consider whether New Jersey should require flu shots as well as three additional vaccines. If approved, New Jersey would become the first state to require annual flu shots for children attending licensed preschool or day care centers.
  4. by   Quickbeam
    Wow. I'm gung-ho pro-vaccination in general, having suffered through measles, mumps and chickenpox as a kid. But mandating flu shots seems way over the top. I'm in a public health venue and I've lost track of the number of years that it was later announced "well, that flu just didn't show up this year!" or that it was another strain. I think too that the more stuff we mandate to parents, the stronger the resistance to any of it will get.
  5. by   Jolie
    I agree, Quickbeam.

    I too am typically pro-vaccination, when the disease is easily transmissable in a school setting (which the flu is), and when there is a safe and standardized vaccine available. In my mind that is one problem with mandating the flu vaccine. With scientists having to make an "educated guess" from year to year as to which strains of flu to include in the vaccine, there is limited evidence that the vaccine will indeed protect the recipient. Another issue worth considering is whether the population of preschoolers in general is linked to significant morbidity and mortality from the flu. If not, then how can this mandate be justified?

    I recently did research for a paper on the HPV vaccine in which many public health experts predicted a "backlash" against vaccinating children for other diseases if Gardasil was made mandatory, as well as a shift of funding from other important public health initiatives if money had to be budgeted for Gardasil vaccines. I think mandating the flu shot for tots might very well have the same effect.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    I agree with both of you: the more government mandates, the stronger resistance will become.

    I also didn't notice anyone proposing to help parents afford all these extra vaccines, either.
  7. by   FireStarterRN
    Is flu considered a big danger for children this age? I don't remember any of my children ever coming down with the flu.

    In my humble opinion this is the case of government mandation of drug company profiteering. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I don't trust the drug companies nor the government.
  8. by   Atheos
    ...an annual average of 41,400 (95% confidence interval: 27,100, 55,700) deaths to influenza over the period 1979–2001. <- "in the united states"

    (http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/co...full/163/2/181)



    well i'm not usually one for statistics... so to be fair lets give it a large margin of error. so 41,400 minus 20,000 to account for any 'error.'

    21,400 out of ~304,000,000 (less than .008 percent) might not seem like a lot. until it's your kid of course. then it's "why isn't the government doing anything about this," along with the usual screaming and gnashing of teeth.

    i like to gamble as much as the next guy, but with money, not children.
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from stanleyrw
    ...an annual average of 41,400 (95% confidence interval: 27,100, 55,700) deaths to influenza over the period 1979-2001. <- "in the united states"

    (http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/co...full/163/2/181)



    well i'm not usually one for statistics... so to be fair lets give it a large margin of error. so 41,400 minus 20,000 to account for any 'error.'

    21,400 out of ~304,000,000 (less than .008 percent) might not seem like a lot. until it's your kid of course. then it's "why isn't the government doing anything about this," along with the usual screaming and gnashing of teeth.

    i like to gamble as much as the next guy, but with money, not children.
    i can get my child a flu shot if i want to . . . . the government needs to stay out of it.

    everyone acts as if our hands are tied and only (as timmy says) "uncle daddy" can untie them.

    i would never scream and gnash my teeth "why isn't the government doing anything about this".

    steph
  10. by   abooker
    They did it. The law passed in New Jersey.

    The council approved the measure 5-2, with one abstention, despite protests from parents concerned about vaccine dangers. The new regulations will not be finalized until state health commissioner Fred Jacobs signs the measure. However, Jacobs has been supportive of the new rules and is expected to sign them soon.
    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/200...d_for_pre.html

    Another article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071211/...e_me/flu_fight


    Grrrrrrr.
  11. by   ElvishDNP
    Wow. You know, as much as it might surprise people, I'm not for gov't mandating flu shots, as much as I support the concept of vaccinating. I personally think everyone should get one but I don't like the idea of it being a law.
  12. by   bethin
    Quote from mjlrn97
    I agree with both of you: the more government mandates, the stronger resistance will become.

    I also didn't notice anyone proposing to help parents afford all these extra vaccines, either.
    The new vaccines will be available for free for low-income families, and private insurers generally will cover the cost.
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/12/14....ap/index.html
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    most vaccines are free at state run health care centers but the problem that for working parents that means taking time off from work because there is no evening hours
    this year there was a free [for everybody] that lasted from 6a to 7a for the flu vaccintions but this was held in october and school starts in august
    i don't like the madated thing either even though i think that it is better to have them than not
  14. by   luv2luvlife
    The children that should definitely get the vaccine are the ones with asthma,cardiac and health problems.
    If you decide to get the flu vaccine via the nasal route,,,,DON't DO IT!!! My child has had excruciating headaches <he screams> ever since he had it. It tells you the side affect can be headaches,,,,it doesn't tell you they will be excruciating. GO for the needle if you decide to get your child vaccinated.

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