What Effects Do Vaccine Policies Have?

COVID-19 has put a new spotlight on the ways vaccines are developed and distributed – sparking debates around the United States.

In this column for The Columbus Dispatch, Abbie Roth, managing editor for science communication at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, takes a step back and explores what happens when governments require vaccination. She looks at recent results from California, Australia, Italy and France – all of which moved to increase vaccination in the years before the pandemic.

Abbie Roth

“A massive amount of research demonstrates the safety and effectiveness of childhood vaccines. And while less research has been done into the effectiveness of vaccine mandates to increase vaccination rates, we can see that areas with mandates do tend to have higher rates of vaccinations and lower rates of vaccine-preventable diseases. We can also observe that, mandate or not, some people will continue to opt out of immunization despite the consequences.”

Abbie Roth, Managing Editor, Science Communication, Nationwide Children’s Hospital