NYC parents of kindergartners can now opt out of vaccination schedule, commissioner announces

New York City Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett released a statement on Monday confirming that the vaccination schedule for the city’s kindergartners will not be as rigorous as in the past. Specifically, Bassett announced that the schedule now only will be made available to eligible parents who submit completed forms four weeks before their child’s enrollment in kindergarten. These new rules will go into effect on September 24, 2019.

Under the new timeline, when a child is considered to be up to date with vaccines, the city’s Health Department will send notification letters to all eligible parents. Once this notification is received, children will be allowed to enroll in kindergarten with their families.

Bassett provided the following clarification on the matter:

“We have decided to eliminate a scheduling requirement, that would have led to the in-person counseling that some parents may not necessarily be able to do in person or who are unwilling to do so. We want all parents who are eligible for the full shot schedule of the Centers for Disease Control to have every opportunity to protect their child and, in turn, the city’s health and public safety.”

The original plan for this new vaccination schedule was to allow parents to begin vaccination schedules after their children’s fourth birthday — commonly known as the “fourth birthday.”

Despite making the most complex decision in children’s medical care, the New York City Health Department has taken the lead in raising awareness of childhood immunizations, encouraging families to obtain vaccines for their children to protect them from life-threatening diseases. Vaccination is highly recommended for children because vaccinations can protect them against measles, mumps, pertussis (also known as whooping cough), whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, hepatitis B, influenza, and pneumonia, but other shots as well.

Read the full story at DNAinfo.

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