New Hampshire law eliminating daycare vaccine requirements sparks conversation online

New Hampshire’s House passed a bill that would eliminate the requirement for proof of polio and measles vaccines for children in daycare. If the bill passes the state Senate, New Hampshire would become the only U.S. state with this kind of law, although other states allow for religious exemptions to vaccine requirements. Some social media users are expressing concerns that this law will lead to further outbreaks of dangerous diseases like measles. Others are falsely blaming immigrants for measles outbreaks in the U.S. and suggesting that vaccine requirements for U.S. citizens are unfair and unnecessary.

Recommendation: Continued discussions about vaccine requirements in schools and daycares often promote false claims about the true cause of disease outbreaks and undermine the importance of disease prevention guidance from public health officials. When talking with parents of young children, messaging may emphasize that daycare vaccine requirements protect the health of individual children and their communities. Experts attribute recent measles outbreaks to a decline in vaccination rates, which jeopardizes herd immunity. Recommended vaccines are safe for children and protect them from serious, preventable illnesses like measles, which can cause serious complications and even death, particularly among children under age 5. Two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine reduce the risk of contracting measles by 97 percent. The CDC recommends that children receive their first dose of the MMR vaccine between the ages of 12 and 15 months and their second dose between the ages of 4 and 6 years. Polio can also cause severe illness, death, and paralysis in children. Three doses of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) provide at least 99 percent protection against polio. The CDC recommends that children receive four doses of the IPV vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and 4-6 years old.