On the sixth episode of “The Ethical Life,” Richard Kyte and Scott Rada are joined by Dr. Jim Bailey to talk about the coronavirus vaccines.
Topics discussed include:
With more than 400,000 Americans having died from the disease and millions more infected, could public health officials been even more aggressive in vaccine development? The Moderna vaccine, for example, existed in its current form in February, but we refused to use challenge trials — that’s the process where we intentionally expose people to the virus — to see how well vaccines work.
Have we struck the proper ethical balance between freedom and public health?
Will this pandemic result in more respect — and more funding — for our public health infrastructure?
Why does COVID-19 put certain communities — especially people with lower incomes — more at risk than others? And should we target those groups with vaccines first?
When will the vaccine supply in the United States outstrip demand?
Should venues be able to require proof of vaccination before people enter? Should there be a national vaccine registry?
What have we learned during this pandemic that will help be better prepared for the next one?
What we’ve been reading:
Dr. Jim Bailey serves as the Robert S. Pearce endowed chair in internal medicine, professor of medicine and preventive medicine, and director for the Center for Health Systems Improvement at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is also part of a study funded by the National Institute for Health to look at how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting disadvantaged communities.
Scott Rada is social media manager with Lee Enterprises, and Richard Kyte is the director of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis.