University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


Savannah Young


This note examines the United States’ vaccination policy in comparison to other countries’ policies. Throughout Europe and in certain states in the United States, vaccination requirements are tightening, and citizens are expected to comply with more stringent requirements. The past year has brought new outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States and Europe, which has led to a push against the anti-vaccine movement and for stronger vaccination policies. However, the likelihood of a federally mandated immunization program emerging in the United States, like those in Europe and China, is low. The best policies to encourage vaccination compliance are to increase effective education about the high benefits and low costs of vaccines; and make the process of obtaining an exemption more difficult. A policy that emphasizes education and fewer exemptions would produce greater immunities from diseases without the backlash that mandatory requirements would create. Such policy would place the choice to vaccinate in the informed hands of the American people, promoting both individual autonomy and protecting public health. This note was written before the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects data, statistics, and analysis that predates the outbreak.