University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


The COVID-19 pandemic lay bare the vulnerabilities of some countries’ public health responses and praise for others. Comparative law review in public health responses may glean lessons for the United States. For example, the United States had not had a pandemic of this magnitude in over a century and was reluctant to institute early masking policies. Meanwhile, the world raced for a COVID-19 vaccine. This begs the question of who will take the vaccine. Will—or can—governments force their citizens to be inoculated? Global comparisons in personal liberty, freedom, bodily autonomy, and how to parent intersect at the right to (or not to) mask and vaccinate debate. This Comment compares laws with various countries against a cultural and political backdrop, such as masking differences in the East and West, vaccines and the resurgence of eradicated diseases in the United States, how an authoritative, military dictatorship in Argentina implemented vaccine laws on its citizens, and how the past atrocities the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo faced is influencing their vaccination rates and subsequent measles and Ebola virus outbreaks today. These global problems require global solutions.