CONCORD, NH – This week New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed the state’s so called “medical freedom” law into effect, which effectively decrees that residents can no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to “access any public facility, any public benefit, or any public service.”
Sununu’s Deputy Communications Director, Brandon Pratt, issued a statement where he noted that the Governor was drawing a distinction between vaccination requirements for public spaces versus privately-owned one.
“As he has long said, Governor Sununu believes that private entities have the choice to require vaccinations,” he said. “The simple fact remains that the safest thing one can do is get vaccinated as soon as possible to help increase the state’s already high vaccination rate.”
According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, the new “medical freedom” law does not supersede state vaccination laws that require “all children enrolled in any school, pre-school, or child care have certain immunizations to protect them and those around them from vaccine preventable diseases.”
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However, the COVID-19 vaccine is not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use for children ages 12 and under, nor is it listed as a requirement for attending school.
Certain exceptions can be made for the law “when a direct threat exists,” which would allow COVID-19 inoculations to be required in public places such as jails and prisons, county nursing homes, and state medical facilities.
Currently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the immunization rate in New Hampshire is higher than average when compared to other U.S. states, with 64 percent of the population reportedly having received at least their initial dose and 58 percent having been fully vaccinated. In contrast, 57 percent of U.S. residents have gotten their first jab, and 49 percent are completely vaccinated.