As drugmakers race to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus, several legal questions are emerging: could the government require people to get it? Could people who refuse to roll up their sleeves get banned from stores or lose their jobs?
The short answer is yes, according to Dov Fox, a law professor and the director of the Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics at the University of San Diego.
“States can compel vaccinations in more or less intrusive ways,” he said in an interview. “They can limit access to schools or services or jobs if people don’t get vaccinated. They could force them to pay a fine or even lock them up in jail.”
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