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What Are Mandatory Vaccinations?

Keeping track of vaccinations can help ensure all mandatory vaccinations have been administered.
In the U.S., children must be given specific vaccinations before they can enter school.
Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Mandatory vaccinations are vaccines which are required, based on government regulations. Not all areas have mandatory vaccines, and there are often exemptions. There can be mandatory vaccines for children as well as those who are traveling overseas.

In the United States and many other nations, there are mandatory vaccinations which children are required to have before entering a public school or daycare facility. Vaccine records are generally required in order for kids to be enrolled in school. There are exemptions for this in every state of the U.S. and some other locations. Religious objections and certain health conditions related to vaccines are both possible exemptions, and children whose parents have this information documented are typically permitted to attend public schools.

There are not mandatory vaccinations in the U.S. and many other industrialized nations. Parents can choose whether or not their children will receive vaccines and when they will receive them. Some parents have chosen to either delay vaccines or restrict the number given at once or total due to some speculation that they may pose certain health risks. Most health organizations still maintain that routine vaccines are safe and effective.

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Mandatory vaccinations may be required for those traveling to certain overseas locations. This will depend on the area in which one is traveling and which diseases are prevalent in that location. Not all travelers will be subjected to this rule, but those who plan to visit certain developing countries should be informed of which vaccine records will be needed in order to leave or reenter the country.

Some nations are attempting to enforce mandatory vaccinations for all citizens. Many health organizations strongly recommend that every person follow a set vaccine schedule starting the day of birth, but this is not enforceable by law in most areas. Some areas only wish to enforce vaccines which may prevent a widespread pandemic, while others push to force all parents to have the full schedule of recommended vaccines for their children.

Organizations which fight against these potential laws claim that this would be a violation of human rights. There are also some questions remaining in terms of the safety of all vaccines and their effectiveness, although many of those have been disproven. More and more parents are choosing not to vaccinate, which many health organizations claim puts the general population at more of a risk.

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