Health Care

NH split on exempting children from vaccines - 130 participants

May 17, 2016

Currently, New Hampshire requires that all schoolchildren receive immunizations for seven illnesses, but an exemption may be granted if a physician certifies the immunization could be detrimental to the child's health, or if parents/guardians object for religious reasons. However, twenty states also allow parents to exempt their children from vaccinations based on non-religious, personal objections like particular morals or philosophical beliefs. Read more about this issue. On May 17, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH parents be able to exempt children from receiving vaccines because of their non-religious, philosophical or moral beliefs?”

Should NH allow exemption from vaccines for philosophical or moral reasons?

Vaccine Exemptions NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 130 participants gave 850 responses.

A total of 85% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 15% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 850 responses from 130 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said

No: 50% of ‘yes or no’ respondents opposed exempting children from vaccines.

  • “Putting other children at risk is not okay.”
  • “Vaccines don't just save [children], they prevent outbreaks of the disease in the general population. Ever heard of 'herd immunity?’ Having your child vaccinated is a smart thing to do.”
  • “I worked at the NH immunization program for 1 year so I can honestly say the good that these vaccines do by far outweighs some of the very rare issues few individuals may encounter.”

Yes: 50% of ‘yes or no’ respondents supported exempting children from vaccines.

  • “Parents should be able to make medical decisions for their own children, including whether to vaccinate or not. Vaccines are showing greater and greater harm including illness, severe, permanent disability and death.”
  • “Until rigorous testing and transparency of chemical compounds has been made available to the public, you should be able to opt out.”
  • “Today's vaccines aren't safe, nor healthy, nor guarantee a shield or protection—but it benefits the pharmaceuticals with profits.”

Other: As noted above, 15% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Expressing concern at how vaccines are made: “Why not just take the mercury out and make the vaccines safe?”
  • Questioning the need for vaccines: “Native people never had to vaccinate.”
  • Debating statistics related to vaccines: “I thought U.S. infant mortality is mostly from hospital-incurred infections.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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