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The Line For The Shot: The Ethics Of COVID-19 Vaccination

A nurse administers the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at Kedren Community Health Center, in South Central Los Angeles, California.
A nurse administers the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at Kedren Community Health Center, in South Central Los Angeles, California.

Who gets a vaccine and when are important questions to consider as the U.S. looks to end the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the logistical questions that come with a vaccine rollout, there are ethical ones many are grappling with as well.

Some are experiencing “vaccine guilt,” where a person feels remorse over their place in the so-called vaccine line. Some are asking why young people who may recover if they get sick are being vaccinated so early when older Americans are far more vulnerable. Others who are offered chances to skip the line, or jump in priority, are finding it morally difficult to accept vaccination. And there are some who think it’s wrong to try to get vaccinated early if you’re not directly at risk.

Find the last edition of our series “Vaccination Nation” here.

How does one balance wanting to be vaccinated as quickly as possible while keeping things fair for the people who are most at risk? And how can we talk to our friends and family about these complicated questions?

We discuss the ethics of the COVID-19 vaccination effort.

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