Vaccines and Airline Travel: A Federal Role to Protect the Public Health

30 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2016

See all articles by Christopher T. Robertson

Christopher T. Robertson

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law; Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics

Date Written: July 22, 2016

Abstract

This Article explores two ways in which airline travel is an important vector for the spread of infectious disease, and argues that airlines have market-based and liability-based reasons to require that passengers be vaccinated. Going further, the Article explores whether the federal government has the legal and constitutional authority — especially under the Commerce Clause — to encourage or mandate that airlines implement such a vaccine screen. By disrupting the spread of disease at key network nodes where individuals interact and then connect with other geographic regions, and by creating another incentive for adult vaccination, an airline vaccine screen could be an effective and legally viable tool for the protection of public health.

Keywords: vaccines, public health, airline travel, infectious disease, vaccine screen

Suggested Citation

Robertson, Christopher T., Vaccines and Airline Travel: A Federal Role to Protect the Public Health (July 22, 2016). 42 American Journal of Law and Medicine 543 (2016); Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 16-22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2814232

Christopher T. Robertson (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.arizona.edu/faculty/getprofile.cfm?facultyid=714

Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics ( email )

23 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02155
United States

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