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Have government vaccine requirements happened before? History says yes.

One of the most notable examples comes from the early 1900s.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Thursday, the Biden Administration announced a January 4 deadline for more than 80 million Americans to be vaccinated or face weekly testing requirements.

The move has some asking if such a requirement has been done before.

One of the most notable examples comes from the early 1900s.

It was a time when infectious diseases were the leading cause of death in our nation.

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"There was an Individual from Massachusetts who was... not getting the smallpox vaccine and he went through the legal channels to attempt to get it overturned," Dr. Patricia Fabel, a researcher at USC's School of Pharmacy, said.

At that time, smallpox, a contagious illness causing fever and a progressive skin rash, had been responsible for the deaths of millions.

To curb the spread, the State of Massachusetts allowed city health leaders to require the vaccine.

But, Henning Jacobson refused claiming he and his son had experienced bad reactions to earlier vaccinations.

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The U.S. Supreme Court, however, ruled in favor of the state as matter of public safety.

Fast forward to today and the smallpox disease has been eradicated due to vaccinations, according to the CDC.

And, that's just one example of requirements over the years.

"Just about every state has laws mandating certain childhood vaccines for daycares or public schools," Dr. Fabel said.

So, how does the Biden Administration's vaccine or testing requirement compare?

RELATED: SC businesses prepare for federal vaccine requirement as state leaders vow to push back

Our expert said that, while state's have implemented mandates in the past, it's unclear to her if the federal government has.

As history writes itself again, she said, "I would like to encourage anyone with questions about vaccines and vaccine mandates to talk with pediatricians, physicians, pharmacists, to get accurate information.”

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