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Mandatory Vaccination Under State of Emergency

Oct. 12, 2020

Can the Government Force You to Be Vaccinated Against Your Will?

Most people are aware that children are required to receive vaccinations for school enrollment. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of mandatory vaccinations, for everyone not only children, has recently been at the forefront of the news. In May 2020, “Operation Warp Speed,” was announced, by the Federal Government, as a partnership between multiple agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD). Operation Warp Speed is tasked with the funding of the development, manufacturing, and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.

[1] Through this program, the United States military will take the lead on distributing 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to the American people. [2] Current projections by the federal government estimate that COVID-19 vaccinations will begin in January 2021.

[3] While COVID-19 vaccine research, development, and approval take place at the Federal level, it is the laws of each individual State which dictate vaccine mandates, including whether or not a COVID-19 vaccine can be forced on any individual. What can the citizens of Maryland expect when the COVID-19 vaccine is ready for distribution? Will this vaccine be a requirement for all citizens of Maryland, not just school-aged children? Will you be permitted an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination based on a religious or some other personal objection? Currently, Maryland's Emergency Management law permits compulsory vaccinations of all residents, with a very narrow exemption for health-related reasons.

[4] There are no religious or personal exemptions to mandatory vaccination in Maryland when a vaccine is ordered to be administered pursuant to a State of Emergency. This law mandating vaccines raises issues of violations of constitutional rights and protections, including your rights to due process, equal protection, and freedom to exercise your religious beliefs free from government interference. If you do not want to accept the COVID-19 vaccine or other mandated vaccines due to a religious or other personal reason, please contact my office to discuss options available to you in refusing vaccinations, including a COVID-19 vaccine. Law Office of Jennifer Lester is seeking clients who want to challenge the mandatory vaccine requirements.

Reach Out Today if You Have Questions About Vaccination Laws

Each State's laws that govern mandatory vaccinations are different, and if you have questions about vaccination laws in a state other than Maryland, you should check with an attorney licensed in the State in which you reside.

[1] United States Federal Government Department of Health and Human Services May 15, 2020 Press Release. See also

[2]Fink, Jenni. “Trump Says Military is Prepared to Deliver 200,000 Coronavirus Vaccine Doses a Day.” Newsweek, September 30, 2020.

[3] See footnote 1.

[4] Md. Code, Pub. Safety § 14-3A-03 (b)(3)(ii).