The Yale Law Journal

Forum Collection

Vaccines and the Law

18 Sep 2021
Health Law

This Collection taps into ongoing legal discussions related to vaccine development, approval, and administration processes during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The first Essay of the series (Vaccination Equity by Design) proposes a federal regulatory framework for countering the inverse equity effects of initial vaccine rollout.


Vaccination Equity by Design

Kristen Underhill & Olatunde C.A. Johnson

This Essay examines how states’ initial COVID-19 vaccine-distribution strategies tended to disadvantage populations of color, including Black, Latinx, and Native American communities. These dynamics resonate with “inverse equity” effects of other public-health innovations. We argue for a federal reg…


Depolarizing the COVID Vaccine Passport

Sebastián Guidi, Alessandro Romano & Chiara Sotis

Vaccine passports are the latest item in the COVID culture wars and are fiercely opposed by some. Can anything be done to depolarize positions around them and other public health issues? We show how flagging that vaccine passports are not a novelty and can foster support and depolarize positions aro…


Individualized Exemptions, Vaccine Mandates, and the New Free Exercise Clause

Zalman Rothschild

While scholars have interpreted Fulton v. City of Philadelphia as a minimalist decision that avoids revolutionizing the Free Exercise Clause, this Essay uses vaccine mandates as a case study to clarify how Fulton has in fact transformed it by interpreting the right to free exercise as an expansive e…