New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a “medical freedom” law this week, banning public places from compelling residents of his state to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Every person has the natural, essential, and inherent right to bodily integrity, free from any threat or compulsion by government to accept an immunization,” the bill read.
The new law doesn’t supersede a state law requiring about seven vaccines for entry into public schools in the state, according to The Associated Press. But the COVID-19 vaccine is not on that list.
There are, however, some exemptions to the new law.
It doesn’t apply to state psychiatric hospitals, county nursing homes or prisons.
“As he has long said, Governor Sununu believes that private entities have the choice to require vaccinations,” Brandon Pratt, deputy communications director for the Republican governor, told ABC News. “The simple fact remains that the safest thing one can do is get vaccinated as soon as possible to help increase the state’s already high vaccination rate.”
The COVID-19 vaccine has received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people over the age of 12.
New Hampshire’s move stands in contrast to other regions of the northeast, which have moved to — or are considering — requiring the vaccine.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week it is requiring employees to take it.
And President Biden is expected to mandate the vaccine across the federal government this week.