NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Department of Health has announced new measures to fight this year’s outbreak of the flu.
Starting Dec. 31, kids ages 6 months to 59 months will be required to get the flu shot.
The Health Department says it’s trying to address the increased influenza risk facing children under 5 in group settings such as preschools and child care centers.
In announcing its new mandate, the Health Department said more than 100 children died from the virus nationwide during last flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control. So far this season, seven pediatric deaths have been reported.
Earlier this month, the state Department of Health said the virus is now “prevalent” in New York.
On Long Island, Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said the county is dealing with a flu cluster.
At Lee Road Elementary School in the Levittown School District , 115 students were absent Tuesday. Of those, 32 have the flu, according to their parents.
“We have a few confirmed cases, and our disease investigators are now out evaluating why all the children are out,” Eisenstein said. “Certainly, not all the children are absent because of the flu.”