Herd Immunity and Immunization Policy: The Importance of Accuracy   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "Unlike vaccine science, appropriate vaccine policy does not have a clear, evidence-based answer. The best policy for any given country is a complex question, and reasonable minds can differ on whether any type of mandate is appropriate and what form such mandate should take. Any such debates, however, lose their value when the arguments are premised on inaccuracies both in law and in fact. In 'Herd Immunity and Compulsory Childhood Vaccination: Does the Theory Justify the Law?', Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary criticize vaccine mandates-focusing on childhood immunization requirements for daycares and schools--claiming both that 'herd immunity' is unachievable and that voluntary programs will achieve a satisfactory result. The first claim is inaccurate, and the second is unsupported by the authors' analysis. While it is possible to plausibly oppose mandatory vaccination policies, Holland and Zachary fail to mount such a case. This critique proceeds as follows: Part I highlights one glaring flaw in Holland and Zachary's legal analysis, viz., misunderstanding the nature of society's duty to children, Part II explains why the authors' view of herd immunity is incorrect, and Part III highlights a critical analytical shortcoming in their discussion."

Hastings College of the Law
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UC Hastings College of the Law Scholarship Repository: https://repository.uchastings.edu/
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Oregon Law Review (2015), v.94 no.1
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