NJ FOCUSES ON FLU SHOTS FOR KIDS...
The New Jersey Public Health Council voted recently to mandate annual flu vaccinations for children who attend preschool or day care. If the recommendation is approved as expected by the state health commissioner, it would make New Jersey the first state in the country to make such immunizations compulsory.
The advisory panel is also recommending requiring 3 other vaccines for schoolchildren— a pneumonia immunization for preschoolers and 2 for those attending middle school: a vaccine to fight a dangerous meningitis strain and a tetanus-pertussis- diphtheria booster.
Concerned parents said they will keep urging support for a bill that would give parents a right to a philosophical objection to vaccine mandates, as many other states have. If approved, the additional immunizations would become mandatory on September 1, 2008.
...AND MANDATORY HIV TEST IN PREGNANCY
On another front, a bill requiring all pregnant women in New Jersey to be tested for HIV as part of their prenatal care was signed into law in December.
The legislation mandates that women be tested early in their pregnancies and again in their third trimesters unless they refuse. If a woman refuses, an HIV test will be performed on the newborn unless the mother objects for religious reasons.
Although the annual HIV diagnosis rate between 2010 and 2014 decreased for black individuals by 16.2%, blacks remain disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
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