Conversations about (Pandemic) Ethics: Ethical COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Design and Equitable Distribution

If there were one COVID vaccine educational conference I could send to my mom and dad and the whole world, it would be this one, brought to you by the CMHE, the Ecumenical Center, and Methodist Healthcare Ministries. Three eminent specialists in infectious disease walk us through the COVID vaccine trials and what to expect in the months to come.

Like many others, I have been both amazed and a bit troubled by the pace of vaccine development. In one calendar year, we have gone fron sequencing the genome of the SARS-COV-2 virus for the first time to rolling out new vaccines. How have we come so far, and how can we trust that vaccines created so quickly are safe? Who should get the vaccine first?

This conference left me much better informed and proud to be part of the team that is fighting to save lives and stop the virus.

Dr. Tom Patterson explains the logistics of the COVID vaccine trials, including “Operation Warp Speed” and exactly what has gone to the wayside in this year’s rapid vaccine development. (Hint: it isn’t safety.) Dr. Matt McCarthy of NYU talks about what we do and don’t know about the vaccines so far, and Dr. Waridobo Allison describes the ethical challenges–and the logistics–of distributing vaccine in an equitable way. Physician-ethicists Ruth Berggren and Jason Morrow moderate.

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