Five moms are suing the city over its flu shot mandate for young children.
The Manhattan and Brooklyn moms have filed a lawsuit against city health officials for requiring all children between 6 months and 5 years of age to get an annual flu shot in order to attend city-regulated daycares and preschools, according to the Daily News.
The mandate states that children who do not get the vaccination by Dec. 31 each year face expulsion or heavy fines.
The lawsuit claims the moms are okay with giving their children all the other required vaccinations, just not the flu shot, according to the News. The suit, citing the Centers for Disease Control, lists the chemical compound thimerosal, which contains mercury, as a common ingredient used in the flu shot.
City health officials argue the health benefits outweigh the risks, saying the infection rate each year is highest in children younger than 5 years old and it’s sometimes fatal.
Common side effects of the flu shot are soreness at the injection site, low fever and achiness.
Officials say the shot doesn’t cause the flu and that parents concerned about mercury can ask for single-dose vaccines that contain trace amounts of thimerosal.