House Passes Harmful Vaccine Legislation
March 17, 2022
CONTACT: BOBBIE BURGESS BBURGESS@NEW-FUTURES.ORG
MARCH 17, 2022
CONCORD, N.H. – This week, the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed HB 1606 and HB 1210, two bills part of a larger effort to undermine NH’s public health and healthcare systems. The House passed by voice vote HB 1606, which would weaken NH’s vaccine registry, a critical tool in increasing vaccination rates and combatting infectious disease. In a vote of 181-155, Representatives passed HB 1210, which would require all private employers and post-secondary educational institutions that receive public funding to grant requests for a conscientious exemption for all vaccines. Meanwhile the NH Senate voted to stall SB 374, which would have prohibited a person from requiring that an individual who had COVID-19 or who is under the age of 18 receive a vaccination against the virus as a condition for employment, education, or access to businesses or entities open to the public.
While SB 374 will go no farther this session, HB 1606 and 1210 will now move on to the State Senate for consideration. In response, Kate Frey, Vice President of Advocacy at New Futures, released the following statement:
“As we continue to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, we must do all we can to protect and strengthen our fragile public health system. Simply put, HB 1606 and 1210 do the opposite. These proposals go beyond the current pandemic and risk a resurgence of terrible diseases we have nearly eradicated thanks to vaccines like Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella, and many others.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fundamental flaws in our public health and health care systems across the Granite State. Wide-spread vaccinations for diseases and data collection tools like the immunization registry play a vital role in effectively protecting children and adults from the horrendous effects of preventable illness. Having a vaccinated population and having robust health tracking tools like the vaccine registry will improve our response to existing and emerging public health crisis.
Our state public health and health care systems are not prepared to address the detrimental effects that these harmful bills will have on our communities. Granite Staters deserve better. We thank the Senate for stopping SB 374 and we look forward to working with them to defeat HB 1606 and 1210 and keep NH healthy.”
ABOUT NEW FUTURES
New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit health policy and advocacy organization that advocates, educates, and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all New Hampshire residents.