Complicating the Distinction between the Requirement and Recommendation-based Childhood Vaccination Programs through the Lens of Voluntariness
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The thesis analyzes the requirement-based childhood vaccination programs of Ontario, New Jersey and the recommendation-based programs of UK and Australia. It complicates the prima facie distinction between the requirement and recommendation-based programs by applying the common law requirement of the voluntariness of consent to the vaccination programs. In particular, the voluntariness light is shone on the nature of the “requirement” and “recommendation” to vaccinate distinction; exemptions from the requirement to vaccinate; the choice to refuse vaccination; and financial incentives to doctors and parents. The thesis concludes that on a spectrum of “most voluntary” to “least voluntary,” the aforementioned programs would be located close to each other in terms of actual, practical presence of voluntariness, demonstrating the complexity of the dichotomy between the requirement and recommendation-based vaccination programs.