Vaccines and airline travel: A federal role to protect the public health

Christopher T. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This Article explores two ways in which airline travel is an important vector for the spread of infectious disease, and argues that airlines have market-based and liability-based reasons to require that passengers be vaccinated. Going further, the Article explores whether the federal government has the legal and constitutional authority-especially under the Commerce Clause-to encourage or mandate that airlines implement such a vaccine screen. By disrupting the spread of disease at key network nodes where individuals interact and then connect with other geographic regions, and by creating another incentive for adult vaccination, an airline vaccine screen could be an effective and legally viable tool for the protection of public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-571
Number of pages29
JournalAmerican Journal of Law and Medicine
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - May 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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