So, You Have to Get Vaccinated? A Brief Overview of State and Federal Authority to Mandate Vaccinations for Children

Lauren Hash


Vaccines are some of the most important inventions of the last several centuries, however, they are also possibly some of the most concerning, especially for new parents. Unfortunately, there has been a noticeable increase in hesitancy or outright hostility to vaccines over the years, which was furthered by the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020. It is understandable, with all the misinformation that has been spread over the last several years, that there are more parents that believe vaccination mandates violate their constitutional rights. However, it is important that parents understand that, while they may dislike it, they are still expected to comply with their state’s required vaccine schedule before their children reach school age. This article will touch on who can mandate vaccinations, some prominent legal challenges that determined vaccination mandates are constitutional, and will provide several examples of budgetary and regulatory proposals submitted by the president and Congress that were used to influence vaccination programs at a federal level.

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