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Sununu signs New Hampshire ‘medical freedom’ immunization bill

Supporters say the bill signed this week establishes “medical freedom."

A member of the United States military, right, prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, N.J., on June 19, 2021. Bryan Anselm/The New York Times


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire residents can’t be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access public facilities, benefits or services under a bill signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu.

Supporters say the bill signed this week establishes “medical freedom” by specifying that all residents have the “natural, essential and inherent right to bodily integrity, free from any threat or compulsion by government to accept an immunization.”

It does not, however, supersede the state law regarding vaccinations as a prerequisite for admission to school. That law lists seven required vaccinations but does not currently include the COVID-19 vaccine.

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The new law also does not apply to county nursing homes, the state psychiatric hospital or other medical facilities operated by the state or other governmental bodies. And it allows mandatory immunizations in prisons and jails when there is a significant health threat.

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