In 1904, some 16 years after the law abolishing slavery, the government of Brazil ordered "sanitary brigades" accompanied by police units to enter homes in Rio de Janeiro and vaccinate residents against smallpox by force. This action triggered the Vaccine Revolt, including in the predominantly Afro-Brazilian district of Saude. After 30 people were killed the authorities abandoned forcible vaccination, only to reintroduce it in 1909 after removing many working class people from central Rio and deporting hundreds of rebels by packet boat.

On what other occasions either in Brazil or in the rest of the world have governments carried out programmes of forcible vaccination?

  • @Federico - Yes, but not the requirement of vaccination as a condition of school admission when school admission itself is not compulsory.
    – user28710
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 14:44
  • 2
    The Wikipedia article on vaccination policy has a table which shows various countries currently having mandatory vaccinations against various diseases.
    – Philipp
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 14:44
  • 1
    are listed in the wikipedia table and you already included them in the answer.
    – Federico
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 15:01
  • 1
    The article doesn't mention vaccination at birth. Indeed are any vaccinations given at birth? DTP is often given at two months. (The WP article on DTP is wrong to state that the British state health service the NHS gives it "to all teenagers aged 14". A "booster" is offered at that age, but it is neither compulsory nor universally accepted.)
    – user28710
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 15:09
  • 1
    How much force counts as forcible? In Canada, you can't attend public school if you have not been jabbed.
    – puppetsock
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 1:37

1 Answer 1


(Many thanks to @Philipp for the reference.)

According to Wikipedia's entry on vaccination policy, the following 15 countries have a policy of forcible vaccination:

13 in Europe

consisting of

  • 9 which used to belong to, or were parts of countries that belonged to, either the Warsaw Treaty Organisation or Yugoslavia:


  • and 4 others:


2 elsewhere in the world


  • Germany has no forced vaccionations (and Wikipedia does not say it has). However as of March this year unvaccinated children might not be allowed to attend kindergarten and schools (and since school attendance is mandatory one might argue that this is forced vaccination through a backdoor). Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 15:23
  • @EikePierstorff the table shows a mandatory MMR vaccine for Germany
    – Federico
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 15:28
  • 1
    However up until 1974 vaccination against smallpox was mandatory in Germany (was discontinued because infections had fallen to a point where the risk did not justify the potentially nasty side effect of the vaccines used back then). Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 16:07
  • 1
    I think you are confusing "forced" (a term not used normally) with "mandatory" (i.e. a legal requirement). People are not forced as such - e.g. armed police do not generally grab you and your children kicking and screaming and force an injection on you. Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 21:13
  • 2
    My German children, born in 1989 and 1991, were inoculated against TB, diphtheria and smallpox immediately after birth. There was no way to contest this (and I would not have wanted to anyway). I gather they don't bother with smallpox any more.
    – RedSonja
    Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 8:49

You must log in to answer this question.