On January 1, 2011, Connecticut mandated that any child between 6 and 59 months old must be vaccinated for influenza if they are to be enrolled in a licensed Connecticut day care center. So the vaccination rate for kids in that age group went from around 54% in 2009-10 to 85% during the 2010-11 flu season.
Emergency department visits for flu and flu-like illness dropped from 34% in 2008 to 30% in 2011, or around 72,000 visits. There was also a 30% decrease in emergency department visits for children in the 6-59 month age range. Like many of these diseases there’s a myth that they are not that dangerous. Except a significant portion of these kids who contract the disease will have other, more serious, issues like pneumonia or even death.
The vaccination program benefits both children and adults that come in contact with the children (though it would be better if the parents were vaccinated too). And vaccines save lives. Period. End of debate.