Stopping the Resurgence of Vaccine-Preventable Childhood Diseases: Policy, Politics, and Law

43 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2020

See all articles by Hillel Y. Levin

Hillel Y. Levin

University of Georgia School of Law

Stacie Patrice Kershner

Georgia State University - College of Law

Timothy D. Lytton

Georgia State University College of Law

Daniel Salmon

Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health

Saad B. Omer

Yale University - School of Medicine

Date Written: January 22, 2020

Abstract

Mandatory vaccination programs in the United States are generally successful, but their continued success is under threat. The ever-increasing number of parents who opt their children out of vaccination recommendations has caused severe outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Public health advocates have pushed for changes to state laws, but their efforts have generally been unsuccessful. We suggest that their lack of success is due to public health advocates’ failures to contend with the features of the political system that impede change and to propose reforms that are ethically defensible, efficacious, and politically feasible. Based on our earlier public health studies, ethical concerns, and our analysis of the political environment, we suggest that states consider “nudging” hesitant parents to vaccinate their children by marginally raising the costs of non-vaccination. We also offer a comprehensive model law that would implement these changes.

Keywords: vaccines, immunization, health law, children, measles, education law, First Amendment, religious freedom, community immunity, sincerity inquiries, Establishment Clause

JEL Classification: K19, K32

Suggested Citation

Levin, Hillel Y. and Patrice Kershner, Stacie and Lytton, Timothy D. and Salmon, Daniel and Omer, Saad B., Stopping the Resurgence of Vaccine-Preventable Childhood Diseases: Policy, Politics, and Law (January 22, 2020). University of Illinois Law Review, Forthcoming, University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3524008

Hillel Y. Levin (Contact Author)

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States

Stacie Patrice Kershner

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Timothy D. Lytton

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.gsu.edu/profile/timothy-d-lytton/

Daniel Salmon

Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health ( email )

India

Saad B. Omer

Yale University - School of Medicine ( email )

333 Cedar Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

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