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Pathog Immun. 2020 Jan 20;5(1):1-7. doi: 10.20411/pai.v5i1.344. eCollection 2020.

Compulsory Immunization Protects Against Infection: What Law and Society Can Do.

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Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Cleveland, Ohio.
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; Cleveland, Ohio.


Since their broad implementation, immunizations have decreased morbidity and mortality due to a number of serious infectious diseases. In recent years, exaggerated concerns about the safety of immunizations have resulted in decreased immunization coverage in many regions and epidemic outbreaks of serious transmissible diseases - most particularly measles. This commentary reviews the legal justification for compulsory immunization and the ethical justification for civil incentives to assure compliance with immunization practices.


anti-vaccination; anti-vaxers; childhood vaccination; compulsory vaccination; herd immunity; immunization; immunization law; measles

Conflict of interest statement

Dr. Michael Lederman is the editor-in-chief of Pathogens and Immunity.

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