Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Midday Edition

Is It Ethical For A Healthy Person To Choose Not To Get A COVID-19 Vaccine?

A Rady Children's Hospital worker gets one of the first COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020.
Pool photo via CBS 8
A Rady Children's Hospital worker gets one of the first COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020.
As we continue to see more coronavirus vaccines available and more people eligible to take them, will vaccinations continue to be viewed as an individual choice?

As the first COVID-19 vaccinations take place across America, there are no reports of hospitals requiring their health care workers to get the shots. At this point, the decision about whether to get vaccinated is up to individuals and the availability of the vaccine.

But as we continue to see more coronavirus vaccines available and more people eligible to take them, will vaccinations continue to be viewed as an individual choice? Is a healthy person’s decision not to get vaccinated an ethically defensible choice? And on the other hand, would it be right for businesses and organizations to require people to get the vaccine?

Advertisement

RELATED: Will Employers Be Able To Force Employees To Take The COVID-19 Vaccine? It Depends

Michael Kalichman, founding director of the UC San Diego Research Ethics Program and co-founder of theCenter for Ethics in Science and Technology, joined Midday Edition Thursday to discuss the ethics of vaccinations.