Law & Governance

Law & Governance 14(2) June 2010
Data Matters

Compulsory School-Entry Vaccination Laws and Exemptions: Who Is Opting Out in Ontario and Why Does It Matter?

Catherine L. Mah, Astrid Guttmann, Allison McGeer, Murray Krahn and Raisa B. Deber


[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy 5(4).]

School-entry vaccination regulations are a policy instrument that has been widely used in some jurisdictions as a mechanism to ensure high immunization coverage rates. Exemptions to school-entry vaccination, which can be allowed on medical or non-medical grounds, present a number of ethical and policy challenges. In this paper, we consider the situation in Canada, where school-entry vaccination laws are rare. We present newly available aggregate-level registry data from Ontario comparing the use of medical and non-medical immunization exemptions to school-entry vaccination and the implications for population health.



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