On The Ethics of Vaccination – Prof. Julian Savulescu

Arguably the best chance of escape from the COVID-19 pandemic is vaccination. But growing vaccine hesitancy has already jeopardised herd immunity for diseases such as the measles. A new vaccine, for a disease that poses a lower risk than measles, for much of the population, is likely to be subject to similar concerns. Indeed, polling conducted by GALLUP in October 2020 suggests that up to 42% of Americans would not take the vaccine right away.

This talk explores if and when a mandatory vaccination programme can be acceptable, and argues that it would be premature for COVID-19 vaccinations. The speaker goes on to suggest that if a voluntary programme is insufficient, a payment model could be used to increase uptake whilst preserving autonomy.

Professor Julian Savulescu is holder of the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. His research surrounds the ethics of various new and emerging technologies, such as new methods of reproduction and enhancement of physical and cognitive performance through drugs or genetic manipulation. We would once again like to express our many thanks for his time.