What laws govern immunization in the United States?


Quick Answer

Immunization regulations in the United States are set by state laws, according to Lawyers.com. These laws only affect the immunization of children against certain diseases, Every state has regulations for school-aged children mandating immunization against certain diseases. The majority of the states require vaccines for children against diphtheria, hepatitis B, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, among other diseases. Some states allow exemptions based on the parents' religious or philosophical beliefs.

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Full Answer

States require proof of these immunizations when children first enter school, reports Lawyers.com. Unless the parents have been granted an exemption, the children are not allowed to begin school within proof of immunization. State laws and regulations are commonly based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Immunization Program. Although adults are not mandated to be vaccinated, the CDC makes recommendations for them as well. Employers in the United States may also require some types of vaccinations.

Exemptions granted on religious and philosophical grounds vary according to the state, says Lawyers.com. All states but two grant exemptions based on religious grounds, and less than half of the states grant exemptions based on philosophical grounds. All states grant exemptions based on medical grounds, such as if the child has a compromised immune system, suffers from allergies to vaccine ingredients, or has other types of illnesses that may be exacerbated by the vaccine.

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