N.H. Considers Letting Parents "Opt Out" of Immunization Registry

Feb 3, 2015

Credit U.S Army Corp of Engineers

As a measles outbreak spreads to more than 100 children in 14 states, New Hampshire is considering a bill that would allow parents to opt out of a state-run immunization registry.

The state was supposed to set up an immunization registry back in the late 1990s, but it’s still in the works.

The registry would allow the state to track down and notify parents of unimmunized children if there were an outbreak of a communicable disease like measles.

The proposed bill would allow parents to opt out of that list, blocking the state from knowing their vaccination history.

The bill seeks to strike a balance between privacy advocates and health professionals like Dr. Everett Lamm, a pediatrician in Exeter, who testified Tuesday against the bill.

"We in New Hampshire are very lucky because our children are so healthy and so well vaccinated that we have not yet had to deal with these illnesses," says Dr. Lamm. "[But] we will if the number of parents objecting to vaccines continues to increase."

New Hampshire is the only state without a functioning immunization registry.