HB 362 is AN ACT prohibiting certain immunization requirements for non-communicable diseases.

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HB 362 is AN ACT prohibiting certain immunization requirements for non-communicable diseases.

History: Hepatitis B (Hep B) is a communicable disease that causes Hepatitis of the Liver. The younger the person is when infected the greater opportunity of having life-long complications such as liver disease and liver cancer.  Hep B is spread through contact with contaminated blood or having sex with someone who is infected with Hep B.

There are about 3,000 – 4,000 cases of acute Hep B cases reported annually to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. Hep B is listed as one of the 62 reportable infectious diseases in NH.

Hepatitis B vaccination prevents the spread of this infectious disease. All children and adolescents who did not receive the vaccine at birth should be vaccinated. Routine vaccination of Hepatitis B has resulted in a decrease in the rate of Hep B infection by 82% since the national strategy to eliminate the infection was implemented in the United States. The decline has been the greatest in children born since 1991.

This bill declares that immunization/vaccine requirements shall not be established for diseases that are non-communicable in a child care or school setting, including hepatitis B.

NHNA’s Commission on Government Affairs is opposed to the passage of HB 362, as presented at the Legislative Town Hall Forum on January 26.

An initial hearing on this bill was held on January 24.  No next public hearing has been scheduled at this time.  The bill remains in committee at this time, Executive Session cancelled on 2/22/17. On 3/2/17 from House Committee on Health, Human Services & Elderly Affairs majority reported bill ought to pass with amendment. On 3/8/17 the bill PASSED in the House and moved to the Senate. On 3/14/17 assigned to Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. On 4/20/17 this billed PASSED in the Senate. On 5/3/17 the Senate enrolled this bill as amended (key in this amendment was the removal of Hep B as a defined non-communicable disease). The Governor signed this bill on 6/16/17 (Chapter No. 2017-137).