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Vaccinations Are States’ Call
The New York Times

Henning Jacobson just said no. Even though Massachusetts required it, he did not want to be vaccinated. He had had a bad reaction to a vaccine, and he opposed vaccination in general.

Refusing to back down, he fought the state law all the way to the Supreme Court. And Mr. Jacobson, a minister in Cambridge, lost.

He was not forcibly immunized, but he did have to pay a $5 fine for turning down the vaccine against smallpox.

The year was 1905. There had recently been a major outbreak of the disease in Boston, and the court said, essentially, that the state’s obligation to protect public health trumped Mr. Jacobson’s wish to avoid the needle.

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