Around the World: Vaccine Requirements Vary From Country to Country

Published on

Parents PACK

Just as vaccine exemptions and requirements are a state-by-state issue in the U.S., policies also vary greatly from country to country.

Latvia and Slovenia, two countries with mandatory vaccination programs, boast vaccination rates of over 95 percent, evidence that strict laws and enforcement works. In fact in Slovenia, failure to comply with mandatory vaccination policies results in a fine. Since Croatia made vaccinations mandatory in 1999, diphtheria, whooping cough and measles have disappeared almost entirely. In Latvia, required vaccines (such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, measles, hepatitis B, HPV) are funded by the government, but parents must pay for others that are available but not mandatory.

In Australia the federal government offers monetary incentives dependent on vaccination compliance. Malaysia vaccinates its children via the public school system, treating each grade as its own cohort. For example, all kindergarteners receive the oral polio vaccine from the school nurse or healthcare provider. In subsequent grades additional vaccines are administered to the cohort.

However, countries such as the United States, where no federal law mandating vaccination exists, have variable rates of vaccine coverage in different geographic regions. The United States is not the only developed nation without a federal vaccination mandate. England and Ireland also do not have mandatory vaccination programs.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.