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  1. The Ethics of Selective Mandatory Vaccination for COVID-19.Bridget M. Williams - 2022 - Public Health Ethics 15 (1):74-86.
    With evidence of vaccine hesitancy in several jurisdictions, the option of making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory requires consideration. In this paper I argue that it would be ethical to make the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for older people who are at highest risk of severe disease, but if this were to occur, and while there is limited knowledge of the disease and vaccines, there are not likely to be sufficient grounds to mandate vaccination for those at lower risk. Mandating vaccination for those (...)
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  • Which Vaccine? The Cost of Religious Freedom in Vaccination Policy.Alberto Giubilini, Julian Savulescu & Dominic Wilkinson - 2021 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 18 (4):609-619.
    We discuss whether and under what conditions people should be allowed to choose which COVID-19 vaccine to receive on the basis of personal ethical views. The problem arises primarily with regard to some religious groups’ concerns about the connection between certain COVID-19 vaccines and abortion. Vaccines currently approved in Western countries make use of foetal cell lines obtained from aborted foetuses either at the testing stage or at the development stage. The Catholic Church’s position is that, if there are alternatives, (...)
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  • Pox Parties for Grannies? Chickenpox, Exogenous Boosting, and Harmful Injustices.Heidi Malm & Mark Christopher Navin - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (9):45-57.
    Some societies tolerate or encourage high levels of chickenpox infection among children to reduce rates of shingles among older adults. This tradeoff is unethical. The varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes both chickenpox and shingles. After people recover from chickenpox, VZV remains in their nerve cells. If their immune systems become unable to suppress the virus, they develop shingles. According to the Exogenous Boosting Hypothesis (EBH), a person’s ability to keep VZV suppressed can be ‘boosted’ through exposure to active chickenpox infections. (...)
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  • Compulsory Medical Intervention Versus External Constraint in Pandemic Control.Thomas Douglas, Lisa Forsberg & Jonathan Pugh - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics (12).
    Would compulsory treatment or vaccination for Covid-19 be justified? In England, there would be significant legal barriers to it. However, we offer a conditional ethical argument in favour of allowing compulsory treatment and vaccination, drawing on an ethical comparison with external constraints—such as quarantine, isolation and ‘lockdown’—that have already been authorised to control the pandemic. We argue that, if the permissive English approach to external constraints for Covid-19 has been justified, then there is a case for a similarly permissive approach (...)
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  • Spoonful of Honey or a Gallon of Vinegar? A Conditional COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Front-Line Healthcare Workers.Owen M. Bradfield & Alberto Giubilini - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (7):467-472.
    Seven COVID-19 vaccines are now being distributed and administered around the world, with more on the horizon. It is widely accepted that healthcare workers should have high priority. However, questions have been raised about what we ought to do if members of priority groups refuse vaccination. Using the case of influenza vaccination as a comparison, we know that coercive approaches to vaccination uptake effectively increase vaccination rates among healthcare workers and reduce patient morbidity if properly implemented. Using the principle of (...)
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  • Good Reasons to Vaccinate: Mandatory or Payment for Risk?Julian Savulescu - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (2):78-85.
    Mandatory vaccination, including for COVID-19, can be ethically justified if the threat to public health is grave, the confidence in safety and effectiveness is high, the expected utility of mandatory vaccination is greater than the alternatives, and the penalties or costs for non-compliance are proportionate. I describe an algorithm for justified mandatory vaccination. Penalties or costs could include withholding of benefits, imposition of fines, provision of community service or loss of freedoms. I argue that under conditions of risk or perceived (...)
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  • Vaccination Policies: Between Best and Basic Interests of the Child, Between Precaution and Proportionality.Roland Pierik - 2020 - Public Health Ethics 13 (2):201-214.
    How should liberal-democratic governments deal with emerging vaccination hesitancy when that leads to the resurgence of diseases that for decades were under control? This article argues that vaccination policies should be justified in terms of a proper weighing of the rights of children to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases and the rights of parents to raise their children in ways that they see fit. The argument starts from the concept of the ‘best interests of the child involved’. The concept is (...)
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  • Vaccination, Risks, and Freedom: The Seat Belt Analogy.Alberto Giubilini & Julian Savulescu - forthcoming - Public Health Ethics:phz014.
    We argue that, from the point of view public health ethics, vaccination is significantly analogous to seat belt use in motor vehicles and that coercive vaccination policies are ethically justified for the same reasons why coercive seat belt laws are ethically justified. We start by taking seriously the small risk of vaccines’ side effects and the fact that such risks might need to be coercively imposed on individuals. If millions of individuals are vaccinated, even a very small risk of serious (...)
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  • Liberty, Fairness and the ‘Contribution Model’ for Non-Medical Vaccine Exemption Policies: A Reply to Navin and Largent.Giubilini Alberto, Douglas Thomas & Savulescu Julian - 2017 - Public Health Ethics 10 (3).
    In a paper recently published in this journal, Navin and Largent argue in favour of a type of policy to regulate non-medical exemptions from childhood vaccination which they call ‘Inconvenience’. This policy makes it burdensome for parents to obtain an exemption to child vaccination, for example, by requiring parents to attend immunization education sessions and to complete an application form to receive a waiver. Navin and Largent argue that this policy is preferable to ‘Eliminationism’, i.e. to policies that do not (...)
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