One or more COVID-19 vaccines may be approved in coming months, but there will not be enough for everybody right away. For your final paper, you will compose a 900-1100 word essay that 1) outlines the ethical and social considerations that should be considered as part of a national plan to distribute limited vaccines and 2) your proposed order of vaccine allocation. You will need to draw on the content we’ve covered in class, information you learn from three resources listed in “content resources” below, your own viewpoint, and critical thinking.
The following are the questions that your paper should answer. I have organized them in a rough outline, which you may follow if you would like, making sure to also include an introduction and conclusion. You’re also welcome to organize this information in whatever way feels most useful to you.
Ethical and social considerations:
• What ethical principles should be kept in mind when considering vaccine allocation? How do they apply in this scenario? Are there one or two that you consider most important?
• Are there any examples from history that shape your perspective on how vaccines should be allocated?
• Are there any particular inequities exacerbated by COVID that you would like to remedy in your vaccination scheme?
• Are there certain groups that we have a particular duty to protect by offering vaccines early? Why?
• Should the U.S. secure vaccines for its all of its citizens before assisting other countries with vaccines?
Your distribution plan:
• Who should be involved in making decisions about vaccine allocation?
• What further information would you need (about the vaccine, about the population, about the disease) in order to make a final decision about allocation?
• Ultimately, given the information you do have, who would your system provide with vaccines first? Make determinations about the first three groups that you would provide with the vaccine, and who would get it last? Justify your position on each, and offer pros and cons to your approach.
You do not need to carry out your own independent research for this assignment (although you are welcome to bring in your own sources, provided they are reliable). Instead, I have linked several resources below that you have the option to use. You do not need to use all of these sources but should use at least three sources other than course lectures. All sources, including lectures, should be cited in APA format, both in-text and in a reference page. Here is information on in-text citation. I have provided the sources in APA format below.
Particularly useful course material may include the following.
• Grubbs, L. (2020, November 10). Research Ethics & Tuskegee [GoogleSlides]. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1nz4-5VuXa4_5wyMyaJOnqGww63JSs7mbquL1DfP4cro/edit
• Grubbs, L. (2020, November 12). Vaccine Ethics [GoogleSlides]. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1nZCwLUwxeGyYJ5Pjh09jIv0HQxvjhXc8hSZ4A5W0t18/edit?usp=sharing
• Grubbs, L. (2020, November 19). Race and Racism in Pandemics [GoogleSlides]. Retrieved from (url TBD)
• Grubbs, L. (2020, December 1). Gender in Pandemics. [GoogleSlides]. Retrieved from (url TBD)
• If you use other lectures, follow this citation format.
Reports from national agencies:
• The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a long report on recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine allocation. The main points are distilled in the three short documents below.
o National Academy of Sciences. (2020, October). Framework for equitable allocation of Covid-19 vaccine: Recommendations. https://www.nap.edu/resource/25917/Framework%20for%20Equitable%20Allocation%20of%20COVID-19%20Vaccine_Recommendations.pdf
o National Academy of Sciences. (2020, October). Framework for equitable allocation of Covid-19 vaccine: Highlights. https://www.nap.edu/resource/25917/Framework%20for%20Equitable%20Allocation%20of%20COVID-19%20Vaccine_Highlights.pdf
o National Academy of Sciences. (2020). Major Elements of the Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine https://www.nap.edu/resource/25917/Major%20Elements%20of%20the%20Framework%20for%20Equitable%20Allocation%20of%20COVID-19%20Vaccine.pdf
• In 2018, the CDC put out a report breaking down their vaccine allocation priorities in the event of a hypothetical influenza pandemic. This document may be particularly useful because it contains estimates of how many Americans fall into various categories (healthcare workers, adults over age 65, etc).
o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Interim Updated Planning Guidance on Allocating and Targeting Pandemic Influenza Vaccine During an Influenza Pandemic. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/pdf/2018-Influenza-Guidance.pdf
• The two following links offer general information about Covid-19 from the CDC. When you navigate to a more specific page you will need to update the citations.
o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, September 11). People at Increased Risk. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html
o Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, November 9). Vaccines. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html
• Gollust, S.E., Saloner, B., Hest, R., & Blewett, L.A.. (2020). US Adults’ Preferences for Public Allocation of a Vaccine for Coronavirus Disease 2020. JAMA Netw Open, 3(9), e2023020. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.23020
• Emanuel, E. et al. (2020). An ethical framework for global vaccine allocation. Science, 369(6509), 1309-1312. DOI: 10.1126/science.abe2803
• Schmidt, H., Gostin, L,O., Williams, M.A. (2020, October 14). Is It Lawful and Ethical to Prioritize Racial Minorities for COVID-19 Vaccines? JAMA. Published online doi:10.1001/jama.2020.20571
• Belluz, J. (2020, October 9). 171 countries are teaming up for the Covid-19 vaccine. But not the US. Vox. https://www.vox.com/21448719/covid-19-vaccine-covax-who-gavi-cepi
• Doucleff, M. (2020, November 5). NPR. Poor Countries Fall Behind in Race to Reserve COVID-19 Vaccine. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/11/05/931397094/poor-countries-fall-behind-in-race-to-reserve-covid-19-vaccine
• Neel, J. & Huang, P. (2020, October 30). Advisers To CDC Debate How COVID-19 Vaccine Should Be Rolled Out. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/10/30/929484340/advisers-to-cdc-debate-how-covid-19-vaccine-should-be-rolled-out
• Irfan, U. (2020, September 8). Covid-19 vaccine makers are pushing back against pressures to deliver by Election Day. Vox. https://www.vox.com/2020/9/8/21419912/covid-19-vaccine-coronavirus-fda-cdc-election-2020-trump
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