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NH News

Legislative committee on vaccines and medical interventions issues report opposing mandates

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Allegra Boverman
/
NHPR

The special legislative committee examining state immunization and medical intervention policy has signed off on a final report that takes aim at vaccine mandates.

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The two-page report was issued shortly after the committee completed its second hearing of public testimony.

That testimony was overwhelmingly critical of how the government —state and federal — handled COVID. Some of it was driven by conspiracy theories — about vaccines, the origin and nature of the virus, and how lawmakers and the “mainstream media” were allegedly in league with drug companies.

For critics of vaccine mandates, this report contains plenty to like. It calls for lawmakers to supply the Attorney General with money to fund litigation against federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

It also encourages state health officials to not pursue mandatory COVID vaccination for school children, and calls for all employers in New Hampshire – public and private – to offer flexible vaccine exemptions.

Republican Tim Lang of Sanbornton chaired the committee. He says its findings aim to send the message that individuals need to be able to make choices about vaccines.

“The biggest distraction is between being anti-vaxx and anti-mandate. And I think it’s a clear statement of the committee that while we are not opposed to vaccinations, the state’s job should be to make sure it’s available to anyone who wants it," Lang said.

The report also recommends any potential expansion of vaccinations occurs only with “full legislative approval.”

Currently, vaccine requirements can be expanded at the discretion of the state’s top health official.