There is definitely a Twitter storm because of a declaration made by Alan Dershowitz. Here’s an example (just one of hundreds):
We may not like the idea of mandatory vaccination but, if it is mandated by a state or municipality, it is perfectly legal.
I looked up the law when we were discussing California (and other states) making certain child vaccinations mandatory for all public school children. The only exceptions that could be claimed are medical, such as a compromised immune system, or a serious allergy.
Here is the history.
Historically, the preservation of the public health has been the primary responsibility of state and local governments, and the authority to enact laws relevant to the protection of the public health derives from the state’s general police powers. With respect to the preservation of the public health in cases of communicable disease outbreaks, these powers may include the institution of measures such as quarantine and isolation or the enactment of mandatory vaccination laws. Mandatory vaccination laws were first enacted in the early 19th century, beginning with Massachusetts’ smallpox vaccination law in 1809.
Jacobson v. Massachusetts is the seminal case regarding a state’s or municipality’s authority to institute a mandatory vaccination program as an exercise of its police powers. In Jacobson, the Supreme Court upheld a Massachusetts law that gave municipal boards of health the authority to require the vaccination of persons over the age of 21 against smallpox, and determined that the vaccination program instituted in the city of Cambridge had “a real and substantial relation to the protection of the public health and safety.” In upholding the law, the Court noted that “the police power of a State must be held to embrace, at least, such reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and the public safety.” The Court added that such laws were within the full discretion of the state, and that federal powers with respect to such laws extended only to ensure that the state laws did not “contravene the Constitution of the United States or infringe any right granted or secured by that instrument.”
I’m not a lawyer, but I think it is clear here that “legislative enactment” is required, not just edicts developed by governors or mayors at whim.
If you care to pursue it, this document also covers state vaccination laws, and the role of the Federal government. In short:
… under the Public Health Service Act, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has authority to make and enforce regulations necessary “to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession.”