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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Vaccination Ethics

Medical professional holding a syringe and a vile of covid-19 vaccine

Medical professional holding a syringe and a vile of covid-19 vaccine

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Photo: Lynne Sladky/AP Photo

While advancements in vaccines for the novel coronavirus are pointing to a light at the end of the tunnel, numerous ethical dilemmas lie ahead. Ethics Center staff, scholars, and students analyze these critical issues in this Ethics Spotlight.

 

Perspectives

The Real Moral Failing with the Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Would Be to Refuse It: Reflections on a Catholic Controversy by Charles Binkley (@CharlesBinkley), director of Bioethics and David E. DeCosse (@DavidDeCosse), director of the Religious & Catholic Ethics and Campus Ethics programs, both at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Catholic bishops in the United States are split about the morality of using a COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Cognitive Dissonance and the Ethics of Vaccination Line Skipping by Thomas Plante (@ThomasPlante) Augustin Cardinal Bea, SJ professor of psychology at Santa Clara University, faculty scholar with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine.

We must put policies and procedures in place to ensure that those who are prioritized to get the vaccination do so quickly while others who are lower on the priority list get theirs in appropriate due time.

 

Vaccine Equity and the Critical Role of Community Nonprofits by Joan Harrington, director of Social Sector Ethics (@SocSectorEthics) at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Nonprofits and their philanthropists support community organizations in their efforts to vaccinate those who may otherwise be overlooked.

 

Vaccines for the Military Affect National Security and Community Health by John Pelissero (@1pel), political scientist and senior scholar for government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Many military personnel and their family members are declining to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and this raises important ethical issues for our national security and the public health of communities.

 

Global Allocation of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Its Ethical Implications by Nicole Boardman ’22, a junior majoring in biology and a 2020-21 health care ethics intern at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

How can we apply ethical principles to the allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine to guide us towards a more equal and fair approach?

 

First, Do Harm: The Ethics of Human Challenge Trials For COVID-19 Vaccine Development by Afton Burrell ’21, a senior majoring in biology, minoring in public health science and a 2020-21 health care ethics intern at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

How can we apply ethical principles to the allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine to guide us towards a more equal and fair approach?

 

Related Resources 

The Case for the J&J COVID Vaccine in the Herd-immunity Quest by H. Westley Clark, dean’s executive professor of public health, Margaret McLean, associate director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Craig Stephens, professor of biology and public health, all at Santa Clara University.

Churches Should Mandate Vaccines for People Coming Back to Mass by Charles E. Binkley, director of bioethics at the Marrkula Center for Applied Ethics, and David S. Kemp, professor of legal writing at Berkeley Law and managing editor of Verdict.

Ethics Spotlight: The Ethics of Going Back to School in a Pandemic - As students across the country started a new school year, online or in the classroom, Ethics Center staff and other SCU scholars addressed some of the key ethical dilemmas surrounding this critical decision.

Ethics Spotlight: Covid-19: Ethics, Health and Moving Forward - As businesses, schools, families and individuals transitioned from shelter-in-place to the new normal, critical questions for consideration relating to reopening the economy were explored.

Ethics Spotlight: Covid-19 - As the pandemic wreaked havoc on society, our health care system, and the economy, critical trade-offs were identified and considered by Ethics Center staff and scholars.

 
Mar 10, 2021

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