The multiplicity of questions surrounding the deployment of an effective coronavirus vaccine include its aggressive development timeline, who’ll get access first, how to encourage people to take it, and whether it’ll work at all.

Still, there’s one key question that remains unanswered: Can governments — which are incurring considerable expenses to accelerate the development of a successful vaccine — forcibly inoculate its citizens?

That question was partly answered last week by Virginia, where the state’s top health official vowed to make a COVID-19 vaccination mandatory once a candidate was widely available. His stance underscored a theme several health experts emphasized: There are several (entirely legal) avenues by which citizens can be compelled to take a COVID-19 cure, whether they want to or not.

Generally speaking, the federal government’s options to mandate vaccinations are limited, according to Richard Hughes, managing director and vaccines leader at Avalere, a DC-based health care consultancy.

“Public health regulation has been left to the states, so I don’t see the federal government superseding states,” Hughes told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview.

With that being said, schools and employers are empowered by law to require workers and students to be vaccinated, Hughes explained. While “states legally could require everyone to do that…politically it would be very challenging,” he added. Read Yahoo Finance article