Photo credit: Charles Rones

Why this conference is important:

About the Conference:

The first National Vaccine Law Conference has been called to address the urgent need for an increased understanding of the interrelated operations of different aspects of vaccine, vaccination, and immunization law. 

The nation now faces a steady drumbeat of anti-vaccine messaging, well-stocked with misinformation and misinterpretation of data, contributing to declining rate of vaccination for childhood diseases such as measles, polio, and tetanus, and growing state-level legislative efforts to weaken and repeal mandates for these vaccines. 

As Justice Antonin Scalia once wisely noted, vaccines have become: “victims of their own success. . . so effective in preventing infectious diseases that the public became much less alarmed at the threat of those disease, and much more concerned with the risk of injury from the vaccines themselves.” Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, 562 U.S. 223 (2011). Trends of this nature are some of the key reasons why this Conference will also be a working conference — not just an opportunity for an exchange of knowledge, but a place for cross-disciplinary development of creative thinking in improving the structuring of our legal responses to infectious diseases, new and old, and to counter the heavy toll that such diseases extract from our society. 

The conference will be hosted at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School on September 15-16, 2022. The conference will feature an exclusive screening of the new documentary film, Virulent: The Vaccine War, directed by Tjardus Greidanus and produced by Laura Davis. The film will be screened on the evening of September 15. 

A Field in Flux:

Attorneys and academics who write, teach, and counsel primarily in this field are keenly aware of the immense attention that has been focused on this field, particularly since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, and of the consequent seismic upheavals to practice in different areas of vaccine law. 

Within this community, we have experiences this renewed focus in terms of groups in various sectors asking that we provide seminars, presentations, panel participation, and CLE programs. The topics that have been of most interest include:

  • The regulatory regimes governing the process of developing, testing, and approving new vaccines for use, and monitoring their production and distribution. 
  • Ownership of intellectual property in vaccines, particularly against the backdrop of proposals for governments to break vaccine patents for asserted public policy reasons. 
  • Legal structures for fair fair and equitable prioritization of vaccine distribution, and consequences imposed on individuals and entities that attempted to “jump the line” for access. 
  • Public and private vaccination mandates for those hesitant to receive vaccines, and exemptions or accommodations sought by those attempting to avoid vaccination. 
  • Dealing with outright opposition to vaccination, and the easy flow of misinformation on social media, and by other routes, about the vaccines and the disease they fight. 
  • Vaccine injuries, the structure of applicable vaccine injury compensation programs, and opportunities fo representation of clients asserting such injuries. 

Conference Tracks:

The conference will present three tracks of content:

  • The legal environment of vaccine development and distribution, with coverage of the latest developments in legal regimes governing these processes, from clinical trials through licensure, patenting, and defending against misinformation and other liabilities.
  • Public health policy and practice, providing legal perspectives on issues faced in the day-to-day work of public officials and their offices in dealing with vaccination matters including public funding, structuring mandates and exemptions, other public promotional efforts, and addressing antivaccine activism. 
  • Best practices for employers, business owners, and other with an interest in private vaccination efforts or requirements in dealing with employee vaccination requirements, accommodations, and vaccine hesitancy.  

The preliminary 2023 speakers and schedule will be released this spring.



To view the 2022 conference schedule, please click HERE. 

To view the 2022 conference speakers, please click HERE. 

Thank you to all 2022 National Vaccine Law Conference Sponsors and Official Partners: