Flu shots are highly recommended for the following high risk groups:
- Healthcare workers
- People with respiratory illnesses
- Senior adults
- Children who have asthma
- Anyone who cares for any of the groups above
In addition, anyone who wants to avoid getting the flu should get a flu shot. Flu shots carry very low risk of any side effects and offer significant protection from winter viruses each year. They're just a great preventive health action that any of us can take.
But now, in response to concerns about public health, the NJ legislature has mandated that all preschool aged children who attend preschool or license day care centers, starting next September, will have to get an annual flu shot.
Though some parent groups fought this law, saying the government should not make medical decisions for people, the NJ Health Commissioner said that the new law will help reduce illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths in an extremely vulnerable NJ population--young children.
The law is based on the belief that preschoolers' developing immune systems and likelihood of spreading germs among the preschool population put them at special risk.
Besides the flu shot, preschoolers in NJ will also be required to get pneumnia shots. Sixth graders will be required to get meningitis vaccine, which is currently not required until college.
NJ is first in the nation in this endeavor and their actions are based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other medical groups.
Can other states be far behind in these sorts of regulations? How do you feel about this issue?
Published On: December 18, 2007