Should we adopt COVID-19 “immunity passports”?

By Victoria Min-Yi Wang. The COVID-19 pandemic has led the UK to impose lockdown measures that have reduced personal freedoms normally taken for granted in a liberal democracy. This loss of freedoms has been justified because it protects people from contracting COVID-19 and, consequently, prevents overwhelming the NHS. After a year of lockdown measures, and […]

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The vicious circle of precaution

By Ezio Di Nucci. The precautionary principle has been implicitly utilized and explicitly invoked in March of 2020 when many governments introduced restrictions and lockdowns to contain COVID-19. ‘Implicitly utilized’ because the preliminary evidence and modelling those restrictions were based on was a good example of the kinds of problems the precautionary principle is meant […]

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Discrimination on the basis of vaccination status (is inherently wrong)

By Michael Kowalik. The worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2 has re-invigorated the debate about the ethical permissibility of vaccine mandates and immunity certification. Public attitudes towards this complex issue are nevertheless dominated by fear, half-truths and ungrounded value-judgements, limiting the scope of rational deliberation in favour of ideological partisanship. My paper, ‘Ethics of Vaccine Refusal’, is […]

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Self-experimentation with vaccines

By Jonathan Pugh, Dominic Wilkinson and Julian Savulescu. A group of citizen scientists has launched a non-profit, non-commercial organisation named ‘RaDVaC’, which aims to rapidly develop, produce, and self-administer an intranasally delivered COVID-19 vaccine. As an open source project, a white paper detailing RaDVaC’s vaccine rationale, design, materials, protocols, and testing is freely available online. […]

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Altered vaccination schedules and informed consent

By Jennifer O’Neill. According to the General Medical Council (GMC) publication Good Medical Practice, medical treatments should be provided “…based on the best available evidence” with a favourable balance between benefit and risk. Legal principles of informed consent and shared decision-making recognise the patient’s right to be informed of the risk-benefit profile of a treatment […]

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Apology, exposing the past key to black Americans embracing COVID-19 vaccines, American medicine?

By Doug Wojcieszak. Recent racial unrest has made many Americans — including the medical community — reflect on our nation’s racial history. The pandemic and our hopes for the COVID-19 vaccines, however, should make the medical community reflect deeper on the history of Black Americans and American medicine and how the future can be different. […]

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The COVID-19 vaccine, informed consent and the recruitment of volunteers

By Jennifer O’Neill. Last week, in an announcement which offered hope in a time of growing despondence, Pfizer declared that their COVID-19 vaccine had “outperformed expectations in the crucial phase 3 clinical trials, proving 90% effective in stopping people falling ill.”  If approved, Pfizer’s jab will be the first in a new era of vaccines. […]

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