Immunization Law and Legal Definition

Insurers and employee health plans may cover immunization services as a matter of benefit design choice. Federal and state insurance laws also may mandate coverage of one or more classes of immunization services. For approximately 100 million persons who are members of state-regulated health insurance plans, state law plays a primary role in determining coverage.States have enacted various laws, which vary by state, requiring immunizations for children and adults enrolled in child care, school, and college settings. These may include vaccination against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus (lockjaw), Haemophilus influenzae type b, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and hepatitis B. Some states have added varicella (chicken pox) vaccination to the list of required vaccines. Legal exemptions are allowed - both for medical reasons and conscientiously held beliefs. Children who don't receive required immunizations may be barred from attening school. There are no legally mandated vaccinations for adults, except for persons entering military service.

American courts have addressed many times the legal issue of whether government can compel vaccination, and have repeatedly supported immunizations. States have many laws that spell out what types of vaccinations people must have in various circumstances. We also have federal laws that specify the type of information that must be given to parents before a child is immunized. Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, section 2126 of the Public Health Service Act, all health care providers in the U.S. who administer any vaccine containing diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, or polio vaccine shall, prior to administration of each dose of the vaccine, provide a copy of the relevant vaccine informaiton materials that have been produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.