COVID-19 vaccination and the right to take risks

Pei Hua Huang

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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The rare but severe cerebral venous thrombosis occurring in some AstraZeneca vaccine recipients has prompted some governments to suspend part of their COVID-19 vaccination programmes. Such suspensions have faced various challenges from both scientific and ethical angles. Most of the criticisms against such suspensions follow a consequentialist approach, arguing that the suspension will lead to more harm than benefits. In this paper, I propose a rights-based argument against the suspension of the vaccine rollouts amid this highly time-sensitive combat of COVID-19. I argue that by suspending a vaccine rollout, a government infringes people's right to take the risks they deem worth taking for their health. I also consider four potential objections to my argument and explain why none of them undermines my argument.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermedethics-2021-107545
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


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