New York City will soon require young children who go to preschool or day care to get flu shots.
The Board of Health voted Wednesday in favor of the mandatory vaccine for children under 6.
Dr. Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control, says the vaccine could save lives and keep as many as about 20,000 city kids from getting sick. He says actual vaccinations are likely to be performed in the fall of 2014. That's because they should be done before the end of December to be effective.
The initiative takes effect in 30 days. The vaccine will be required for about 150,000 children.
Parents may opt out for medical and religious reasons.
Opponents say mandatory vaccinations give parents little say in determining what's best for their child.