Vaccination Laws

At a glance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partners with others to support vaccine safety. Vaccination laws improve vaccine safety by providing vaccination rules for certain age groups and populations. The Public Health Law Program offers resources about state vaccination laws for health workers and their legal advisors.

State healthcare worker and patient vaccination laws

Hospitals and clinics nationwide are increasingly asking their staff to get vaccinated against certain diseases to prevent outbreaks. Sometimes, this is because state laws and rules say they have to. The Public Health Law Program (PHLP) looks into state laws about vaccinations in healthcare facilities for certain diseases.

Hepatitis B

Menu of State Healthcare Facility Hepatitis B Vaccination Laws


Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

Menu of State Healthcare Facility Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination Laws


Menu of State Healthcare Facility Pertussis Vaccination Laws

Pneumococcal disease


Menu of State Healthcare Facility Varicella Vaccination Laws

State School Vaccination Laws

All states have rules that students must get vaccinated against specific contagious diseases to attend school. These rules are usually the same for public and private schools, including which vaccines and how to get exceptions. PHLP has reviewed state rules, regulations, and health department policies about school vaccinations. The following assessment, completed in 2019, updates information gathered in 2015 and then updated in 2017.

View State School Immunization Requirements and Vaccine Exemption Laws

Polar Graph on State School Vaccination Exemptions Law

State laws not only set rules for when students can skip school vaccination requirements. They also decide how the exemption process works. The following graph uses 2019 information. It shows key features of school vaccination exemption laws, detailed in PHLP's review (linked above).

A polar graph showing the 50 US states and which exemptions are allowed in each state. Exemptions include items such as medical only, parental acknowledgement, notarization requirements, and religious/philosophical exemptions.
Polar graph on state school vaccination exemptions law.
Color legend where each color represents the type of vaccination exemptions in each state.
Legend for the polar graph.

State Immunization Information System Laws

Immunization information systems (IIS) keep digital records of all vaccine shots given by healthcare providers in a specific area. These systems are also known as vaccine registries. Usually, when a healthcare provider gives a vaccine, they put details about the patient and the vaccine into the medical record. They then report it to an IIS database managed by a health department. The following review looks at state rules and regulations that control IIS, gathered in 2020.

State Immunization Information System Laws—Demographic Data Collection

Additional Resource

The following article addresses recent changes and patterns in certain state vaccine policies in the United States. These changes might impact vaccination rates.1

The Latest in Vaccine Policies: Selected Issues in School Vaccinations, Healthcare Worker Vaccinations, and Pharmacist Vaccination Authority Laws

  1. Barraza L, Hoss A, Schmit C. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 2017;45:16–9.