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School immunization requirements are an effective way of increasing vaccine rates and reducing outbreaks, but they may have a dark underside. Although such mandates protect the general public, the availability of exemptions may be open to exploitation as a tool to try to undermine other avenues for protecting the vaccine-deprived children themselves. This essay argues that exemptions from school immunization requirements should not be understood to limit the protections available to children due to a decision to withhold vaccines. The existence of an exemption should, however, prevent criminal prosecution if a child dies from a preventable disease, because a parent can justifiably believe they were acting legally.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
8 Sep 2022
225 kB



  • Subject
    • Domestic Law

    • Education Law

    • Health Law and Policy

    • Juvenile Law

    • Medical Jurisprudence

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 58

  • Issue
    • 6

  • Pagination
    • E. Supp. 9

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022