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A Review of the Justifications for Mandatory Vaccination Policies in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

  • Korean Journal of Medical Ethics
  • Abbr : 의료윤리
  • 2022, 25(1), pp.1-20
  • DOI : 10.35301/ksme.2022.25.1.1
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Medical Ethics
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > General Medicine
  • Received : November 30, 2021
  • Accepted : January 11, 2022
  • Published : March 31, 2022

유기훈 1 Kim, Ock Joo ORD ID 2

1
2서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, several countries introduced mandatory vaccination policies to increase vaccination rates. These policies were controversial because they were seen, at least by some, as coercive measures that violated individual rights and freedoms. This article examines some of the arguments that were given, both for and against, the mandatory vaccination policies that certain countries implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The four arguments for vaccine mandates that are examined concern (1) the prevention of harm to others, (2) acceptable levels of risk, (3) collective obligations, and (4) fairness in achieving essential public goods. The three arguments against vaccine mandates that are addressed concern (1) remote harms, (2) the absence of additional benefits, (3) and individual autonomy and bodily integrity. On the basis of this analysis, the article attempts to determine which specific vaccine policies, among the many that were implemented or considered, are ethically justifiable.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.