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Document Type

Note

Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2021

Publication Citation

28 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 1 (2021)

Abstract

Vaccinations have become a contentious issue in recent times. Although there has always been opposition to vaccines, the internet has made it possible for pseudoscience and false information to spread like never before. This has led to alarming declines in vaccine confidence and adherence rates globally. High-income countries have seen the sharpest drop in vaccine confidence rates. Factors such as the complacency effect and religious objections likely explain this decline. Most countries have attempted to raise vaccine confidence levels by enacting laws that make vaccinations for children compulsory, with strict penalties for parents who refuse to comply. In addition to vaccine mandates, the United States has the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for those who suffered injuries after receiving compulsory vaccines. Many of these policies create great friction between the government and individual liberties and do not address the rights of children at all. For these reasons, parents and children alike need a comprehensive solution that satisfies both their needs. To achieve this, states should adopt the mature minor doctrine in the context of vaccines.· Schools should educate children about the safety and efficacy of vaccines to ensure that they are properly informed and increase their chances of being deemed a mature minor to bolster the effects of the mature minor doctrine. Additionally, parents whose children have been harmed by anti-vaxxers should be compensated for their suffering. This could be accomplished by fining anti-vaxxers for failure to vaccinate and using that money to create a national fund similar to the United States' current vaccine compensation program.

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