Diseases Know No Boundaries: A Case for Federally Mandated Vaccinations
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This thesis reviews the recent critical rise in the vaccine-preventable disease, the measles, across the United States and the role of the federal government to protect the public health and safety of its citizens. The first chapter evaluates the legal authority of Congress to remove all non-medical vaccine exemption laws for immunizations that: 1) have been administered to the American public for a minimum of ten years; 2) proven effective; and 3) have little to no side effects. This study finds that Congress does possess the ability to prevent the introduction and spread of infectious diseases. The second chapter discusses the possibility of the President of the United States, through executive order, to create this national immunization standard should Congress be unable to enact such legislation. However, this study finds the threat of militarizing vaccinations precarious and recommends Congress remain as the architect for this standard. The final chapter explores the creation and implementation of monetary vaccination incentives for parents who provide their children with immunizations that have been administered for ten or more years and are proven safe and effective. This thesis concludes with the need to re-establish trust in immunizations among the American people and how the politicization of the impending COVID-19 vaccine threatens that foundation.