HB 1035, relative to exemptions from school vaccine mandates
House Bill 1035 will soon be voted on by the House HHS Committee: This dangerous bill would make it easier for more families to send their children to school unvaccinated against preventable diseases such as- hepatitis, measles, mumps, polio and many others.
- Contact committee members to tell them how important vaccines are to the health of our state: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J-1hxTrhIh48PaJ7cJukZ3tqBRmCWeOPIJYsPZexxAw/edit?usp=sharing (and let us know how the conversation goes).
- Sign the petition to show lawmakers how many Granite Staters support a Healthy NH: https://secure.everyaction.com/tQtl4fjNfUKpmLXtd3Vrhw2
- Share your story with us about the importance of vaccines to you and those you love: https://secure.everyaction.com/jI83V0awQEetU4glsyq9Uw2
More information about HB 1035
- This legislation would allow families to opt out of school vaccine requirements for philosophical reasons.
- Early childhood immunizations have been shown to be safe and cost-effective tools for protecting infants and children from potentially life-threatening, preventable diseases. Current NH law allows for medical and religious exemptions for students, but a philosophical exemption, as proposed in this bill, could open the door for many more families to send their children to school unvaccinated and at risk for spreading diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, chicken pox, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and polio.
- Since 2015, less than 2.5% of children in grades K-12 in NH’s public and private schools were granted religious or medical exemptions or considered otherwise not up-to-date on their vaccinations. In other states that allow exemptions for philosophical or non-religious/medical reasons, data has shown significant increases in geographic cluster-based exemption requests and associated increased disease rates in those clusters, especially for childhood illnesses like chickenpox, which can lead to debilitating adult shingles, pertussis, which can be deadly for infected adults who have asthma, and rubella, which can cause devastating birth defects and newborn illness when underprotected pregnant people are exposed. Unvaccinated children who survive infection with these diseases can experience significant long-term developmental and health effects, which often place unexpected burdens on families, schools and communities.
- Just 18 states in the US allow philosophical exemptions for mandatory school vaccinations. On average, states that have allowed non-religious/non-medical exemptions have seen their exemption rates double. That trend suggests that NH could see more than 13,000 unvaccinated children in NH schools if this bill passes. Both California and Vermont have eliminated philosophical exemptions in the last 5 years, which is on trend with state public health efforts to decrease the community risks of infectious disease outbreaks across the country and the world.
- If passed, this bill would open the door for many more families to send their children to school unvaccinated against preventable diseases. COVID-19 has shown us first hand what a terrible burden infectious disease outbreaks put on families, schools and communities. It is unconscionable that anyone supports increasing the risk that the events of the last two years would play out again by limiting one of the most effective prevention measures available - mandatory school vaccinations.
(Information from the NH Public Health Association)
HB 1035 childhood vaccination exemption House testimony.pdf