New York City is now enforcing a 2013 regulation that requires children between the ages of 6 months and 59 months to get annual flu vaccines to attend daycare and pre-school programs regulated by the City of New York. Parents have until December 31 to vaccinate their kids, or file for a religious or medical exemption. We believe that parents should have the final say on anything that is injected in their children's bodies, including flu shots in New York City, and we will be working to make that happen.
Before you take action, if you value the efforts by the Autism Action Network to protect you and your children's health and rights, please support our one fundraiser we do in conjunction with the Autism Community Walk and Resource Fair on October 20 in Belmont Lake State Park here:
Please click on the Take Action link to send a message to Mayor Bill de Blasio letting him know that New York City parents should have the same rights as every other parent in the US and have the final say on whether their child gets a flu shot or not.
Enforcement of the regulation was suspended for 3 years while a lawsuit challenging the regulation was resolved. In June the New York Court of Appeals overturned two lower court decisions and allowed the regulation to move forward. While the lawsuit may not have stopped the flu shot mandate, we haven't given up. If the City believes they have the authority to mandate shots, they also have the authority to grant exemptions from City mandates. Now that the City is creating its own mandates separate from the rest of New York State, New York City should implement exemptions from city-only mandates for secular reasons as well as religious reasons.
Nineteen states allow secular exemptions, and it is the standard throughout the developed democracies. In effect, a secular exemption returns the final decision to the parents where it belongs. Only New Jersey and Connecticut require flu shots to attend daycare, and both of those states allow easy and automatic opt-outs for parents. New York City should have the same.
Not all programs require flu shots
When the City first tried to implement the flu shot mandate in 2015 many of the communications they released implied that the regulation covered all daycare and preschool programs, but only programs regulated by the City of New York are covered. Programs regulated by New York State are exempt.
If you aren't sure if the regulations applies to a program you can find those regulated by the City (where the regulation applies) here:
State-regulated program where the regulation does not apply are here:
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