1.20.2021 4410 Oversight - Flu Vaccine Requirement in NYC
Getting a flu shot this year is particularly important because, like COVID-19, influenza is a respiratory virus and we want to do everything we can to minimize any further sickness of individuals during this season. While the flu vaccine will not prevent COVID-19, it will help reduce flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths, and conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19.
All children between the ages of 6 months and 59 months are required to get the influenza (commonly referred to as the flu) vaccine by December 31st of every school year. For the 2020-2021 year, it is expected that all children will be vaccinated, whether they attend school in-person or remotely.
Enforcement action by the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) regarding the flu vaccine requirement in child care and school-based programs began on January 1st and programs may receive fines or violations for not excluding children from the program who are not properly vaccinated.
Programs should work with families to get the vaccination and should not discharge children if they do not yet have this vaccine. Children may be excluded from the program until they have been vaccinated. If children are vaccinated after January 1st and can show proof of vaccination, they may then begin attending again.
As some of you have heard, the New York State Department of Health has extended its suspension of enforcement of school immunization requirements until February 9, 2021, only for students attending school exclusively remotely. The requirements apply to all children between the ages of 2 months and 18 years, as long as the child intends to obtain the required vaccinations in the coming 30 days.