Possible implementation of NH’s vaccine registry sparks spirited debate amongst LFDA Members - 417 Responses

Feb 03, 2015

Signed as law in 1998, NH has since worked to implement a “vaccine registry” whereby recommended immunizations would be tracked as well as who has received vaccinations. Such a registry would also allow for the creation of a database that would enable an individual’s immunization histories to be communicated between medical providers. Last spring, efforts to fully implement a vaccine registry fell flat, however, and NH remains the only state in the nation without one.

On February 3, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) asked Facebook members if the NH Department of Health and Human Services should fully implement the state’s vaccine registry and received a mixed, albeit spirited response. While 63% of respondents who directly answered the question opposed the idea with 37% voicing their approval, 35% of all respondents discussed the topic in significantly broader terms. In sum, the LFDA received specific comments from 92 individuals supported by 275 concurrences for a total of 417 citizen responses. 

For those against implementation of a vaccine registry, many claimed the government has no right to mandate whether people choose to vaccinate themselves and/or their children. “My child has all of her vaccinations by my choice, but [it’s] none of the government’s business,” noted one respondent. Added another, “People have a right to choose what enters their bodies or not.” Many questioned the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, including one gentleman who said, “There are many alternatives to vaccinations. Research those and research the inherent dangers of the vaccine itself for there are many.” 

In speaking to the safety of current vaccinations, several respondents in favor of a vaccination registry argued the benefits to society far outweigh any potential dangers to individuals. “Yes, vaccines can be deadly, but not vaccinating your child not only puts your child at risk, it puts society at risk,” said one woman. Also acknowledging the inherent risks in a vaccination, another gentleman said he still chooses vaccination, as he added, “Vaccines are risk mitigation strategies—and pretty good ones.”

Many respondents did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question, as several offered their own solutions. One gentleman remarked, “No to the registry—yes to a 100% no exemption mandate.” Some respondents focused exclusively on the research behind the effectiveness and safety of vaccines without providing a position on the issue. Several respondents commented that “fear-mongering” seems to be taking place around the issue. One woman added, “We have to stop shaming parents and try to find common ground so that perhaps attitudes can change on both sides of this divisive issue.”

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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