Skip to main content

Vaccinations

Image
Citizens Count Editor
Summary

Vaccines required by NH state law

New Hampshire law requires any child enrolled in public school, private school, or child care to get vaccinated against the following diseases:

  • Diphtheria
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Rubella
  • Rubeola
  • Tetanus

Vaccines required by DHHS rules – and why that’s controversial

State law allows the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to require other vaccinations through a rulemaking process outside the legislature.  DHHS can add or subtract from this list without any changes to state law.

Some argue that it is inappropriate to give bureaucrats the power to require certain vaccines without democratic input through the legislature.  On the other hand, the current system gives health experts the ability to respond quickly to disease outbreaks.

Right now DHHS requires vaccines for the following diseases:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Haemophilus influenza Type b (leads to bacterial meningitis)

The debate over the hepatitis B vaccine requirement

State law forbids DHHS from requiring a vaccine for any disease “that is not infectious or transmissible from person-to-person.”  Some opponents argue that hepatitis B is so rare among children that it is inappropriate to require that vaccine.

Learn more about the Department of Health and Human Services requirements for childhood vaccinations

Financial aid for meeting state vaccination recommendations

If a family cannot afford a recommended childhood vaccine, the state will pay for it through the Immunization Program.  That program is funded through a combination of federal grants, health insurer contributions, and the state general fund of tax dollars.

Learn more about the state program to provide vaccines at no cost

Exemptions from vaccine requirements

New Hampshire law allows an exemption from vaccine requirements for medical or religious reasons.

New Hampshire does not allow parents to reject childhood vaccinations just because the parent believes vaccines are harmful.

In the event of a disease outbreak, children exempted from vaccine requirements may not attend school.

Llearn more about the medical and religious exemptions from childhood vaccination requirements

Vaccine requirements for adults

New Hampshire state law does not require adults to get vaccinated.  However, employers – particularly in the health care field – may require vaccinations as a condition of employment.  Colleges may also require students to get vaccinated. 

Some states, such as Oregon, have passed laws that forbid employers from requiring that workers get vaccinated. 

Immunization Information System

Health care providers in New Hampshire will be required to report a record of every vaccination they administer to the state Immunization Information System (IIS) - once it is up and running. The creation of the system was approved in 2016, but has been plagued by delays. 

Once active, the IIS could be used to track immunization records and identify unvaccinated people in the event of a disease outbreak. Health providers will be able to make changes to the IIS.  Schools, licensed child care agencies, and public health offices in Manchester and Nashua will have limited access to read records in the IIS.

Health providers must give patients the opportunity to opt-out of the IIS.

Vaccines at pharmacies

In New Hampshire, pharmacists may administer flu, pneumonia, chickenpox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and meningitis vaccines to adults.  Pharmacists must complete certain training to administer vaccines.

Almost all other states allow pharmacists to administer these vaccines.  However, some opponents argue that vaccines should only be administered by an individual’s primary health care provider, who has complete information about a patient’s medical history and is more aware of possible adverse reactions.

Author:
Citizens Count Editor

“NH should maintain current vaccine requirements.”

  • If the New Hampshire Legislature takes over the list of required vaccines, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will not be able to respond as quickly and effectively to a disease outbreak.
  • The DHHS rulemaking process for adding vaccine requirements includes an opportunity for public comment, just like the public hearings in the legislature.
  • National and international organizations, from DHHS to the World Health Organization, all agree the vaccines required in New Hampshire are safe and recommended for all children.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no evidence linking vaccines and autism. On the other hand, as more parents have chosen to opt-out of vaccinations, there have been more outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Private employers should have the liberty to require vaccinations as a matter of workplace safety – particularly in health care settings.  If an employee does not want to get a vaccination, the employee can always negotiate with the employer or find a new job.
  • Vaccinating children saves on health costs in the long-term, since those children do not become sick with vaccine-preventable diseases as adults.  According to the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins, increasing the number of children vaccinated against hepatitis B could save billions of dollars in lost productivity and treatment costs. 
Author:
Citizens Count Editor

“NH should change current vaccine requirements.”

  • Many states allow parents to opt out of vaccine requirements for any personal belief, not just for religious or medical reasons. 
  • Since vaccines impact individual health, the public deserves more of a say over vaccine requirements than other state rules.  The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) should not be able to add vaccine requirements without the approval of the New Hampshire Legislature, because the rules process in DHHS does not provide as many opportunities for public input as the legislative process. 
  • Requiring the hepatitis B vaccine, in particular, is an unjustified requirement for children.  Hepatitis B is far more common among adults than among children, often spread through sexual contact or illegal IV drug use.  
  • People should not have to choose between making a living and controlling their own health care.  New Hampshire should therefore prevent employers from requiring employees to get vaccinations.

Comments

Francis

For some childhood issues, yes. Because of one reason or another from parents, some of the diseases from when I was a child are making a comeback. I am not sure how I feel about telling another parent how to care for the child. But there should be consequences for decisions that may put others at risk.

Linda

The government should never inject an individual with drugs/vaccines without their permission & willingness. Citizens Count asks a valid question. Let’s see what NH citizens think..

Anne

No they should not. This violates the right to liberty. Further denying children access to education based on medical choice violates their right to privacy and imposes taxation on parents without giving them access to what their taxes are paying for, which violates the constitution of NH. In other words, liberty includes body autonomy. Privacy includes the right to keep medical decisions private and public education is a right of all children of tax paying citizens. Forcing NH citizens to inject a foreign substance into their bodies without their consent or forcing them through coercion/threat/isolation is a violation of what this country stands for and violates their human rights. Where there is risk there must be choice. Consent cannot be given under duress.

Tatiana

The Nuremberg Code's informed consent has been firmly adopted by the medical profession after the Nazi doctors during World War II widely experimented on human subjects resulting in untold suffering and deaths. Vaccination is a medical intervention performed on a healthy person, and it has the inherent ability to result in the injury or death of that healthy person.
In consideration of: the fact that there is NO GUARANTEE that the deliberate introduction of killed or live microorganisms and of the neuro- and immuno-toxic vaccine adjuvants and preservatives into the body of a healthy person will not compromise the health or cause the death of that person either immediately or in the future; and where very few predictors having been identified by the medical science to give advance warning that injury or death may occur; and with NO guarantee that the vaccine will indeed protect the person from contracting a disease absent ANY long-term randomized placebo-controlled studies on this subject; and in the complete absence of any long-term placebo-controlled randomized studies of the way vaccines singly or in combination act in the human body at the cellular and molecular level, and in the absence also, of ANY long-term large-scale studies of the comparative health in the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated -- in light of all of the above factors --
vaccination as a medical procedure is experimental each time it is performed on a healthy individual. In light of the fact that the vaccine makers are exempt from all liability for death or injury caused by their vaccines, and that vaccines are a HUGE profit-maker for them, and in light of the fact that ALL FOUR of the vaccine -makers are convicted felons who have paid over $35 Billion for fraud and deception of the regulatory bodies in efforts to increase the sales and profitability of their pharmaceutical drugs -- it is of PARAMOUNT importance that fully informed consent be obtained EACH AND EVERY TIME before ANY VACCINE is given. The PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE of the requirement of informed consent is further emphasized by the fact the the Federal Vaccine Court (established by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act of 1986) has awarded well over $4 billion and one hundred million in compensation to thousands of injured or killed vaccine recipients, where the awards are limited to $250 thousand per death.

Tatiana

I should add that where the current health policies of the CDC, the US DHHS and other regulatory bodies have brought us today to where 54% of children have chronic life-long illnesses and one in two adults will suffer from cancer in their life-time, where nosocomial infections and medical errors are a leading cause of death, these bodies can hardly be trusted with "ensuring" the health of the population any longer. They have clearly led us down the wrong path, resulting in the sickest generation of children ever in human history, with infant mortality in the US higher than that in the impoverished Cuba, and with childhood mortality by the age of 18 being 70% higher in the US than in any other developed nation. Do you want to continue down this same path? i don't!

Nicole

How is tetanus on the list? NH law prohibits non-communicable disease from this list?

Thank you to our sponsors and donors