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Massachusetts Law About Vaccination & Immunization

Best Bets

Vaccines and Immunizations, U. S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Contraindications and precautions, immunization schedules, common questions, vaccine information statements (benefits, risks and side effects) in English and Spanish, vaccines for travelers, and publications including Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, "the Pink Book," a comprehensive guide. Videos, webcasts, podcasts, links to additional resources.

Immunization program, Mass. Dept. of Health & Human Services. Mass. and U.S. guidelines and schedules for children and adults, current school immunization requirements, vaccine safety and management and more.

NY Times Immunizations In-Depth Report. Includes background, symptoms of severe reactions, discussion of each vaccination, references and links to relevant websites.

Travelers Health, Centers for Disease Control. All aspects of international travel health information including vaccinations (routine, recommended and required), precautions, diseases related to travel, and access to the Yellow Book, a comprehensive reference.

Massachusetts Laws

Massachusetts Regulations

Federal Laws

Federal Regulations

42 CFR 100.1 through 100.3 Vaccine Injury Compensation

Selected Case Law

Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 US 11 (1905) Jacobson challenged mandatory smallpox vaccination as an unreasonable invasion of his liberty. The Mass. Supreme Court held that the vaccination program was constitutional. The U. S. Supreme Court affirmed, ruling that the program had a real or substantial relation to the protection of the public health and safety. Legal precedent for U.S. compulsory vaccination laws


Sharing your Immunization Information Objection (or withdrawal from objection) Form, Dept. of Public Health. To opt out of the computerized registry or to opt back in.

Adverse reaction reporting form, Federal Vaccine Adverse Reaction Reporting System. To report significant adverse events that occurred after vaccination of adult or child.

Other Web Resources

Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2011. "Overall, the committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines."

National Network for Immunization Information. Science-based information for the public and health professionals. Requirements by state, research and policy, pictures of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Print Sources

"School Vaccination Requirements: Historical, Social and Legal Perspectives," by James G. Hodge, Jr. and Lawrence O. Gostin, 90 Ky L J 831, 2001. Also available online to library card holders through Hein Online. Discusses the origins of vaccination, legislative and judicial responses to vaccination policy, and the arguments against it.

"The Religious and Philosophical Exemptions to State-Compelled Vaccination: Constitutional and Other Challenges," by Alicia Novak, 7 U Pa J Const L 1101, 2005. Available online to library card holders through Hein Online. Overview of the constitutional, public health, and implementation challenges of religious and philosophical exemptions.

"Jacobson v Massachusetts: Impact on Informed Consent and Vaccine Policy," by Kristine M. Severyn, 5 J Pharmacy & L 249, 1995. Available online to library card holders through Hein Online.


Immunization Action Coalition. Updates from official sources, handouts in multiple languages, Ask the Experts, journal articles, digital images.

New England Patients' Rights Group Inc. Support and advocacy group committed to educating the public about patients' rights and protection.