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New Hampshire residents will not be forced to receive a coronavirus vaccination despite other states and businesses requiring one.
“Every person has the natural, essential, and inherent right to bodily integrity, free from any threat or compulsion by the government to accept an immunization,” according to a new bill that Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law this week.
The “medical freedom” law came to fruition as some neighboring states look to boost vaccination rates via vaccine mandates. Some public businesses across the country, including larger entities such as the NFL, are also requiring their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The New Hampshire government is still promoting the vaccine to its residents.
Brandon Pratt, Sununu’s deputy communications director, said people should get vaccinated but should not be forced to do so by the government.
“As he has long said, Gov. Sununu believes that private entities have the choice to require vaccinations,” Pratt told ABC News on Monday. “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.”
The new bill does not override existing vaccine law requirements in the state, which require "that 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," the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said.
State law requires all students to receive certain vaccinations before attending schools, although the coronavirus vaccine is not among them.
There are other exceptions to the new law, including at state-run correctional facilities where immunization mandates are allowed "when a direct threat exists."
As states determine their own approaches to combating the spread of the coronavirus amid recent spikes in cases, President Joe Biden is expected to mandate the vaccine for federal employees.
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Original Author: Lawrence Richard