Vaccine Distribution and Justice
Lisa Maria Herzog (Technical University Munich), Brian Berkey (University of Pennsylvania), Lisa Maria Herzog (Technical University Munich), prof. Brian Berkey (University of California, Berkeley)

March 4, 2021, 8:00am - 9:00am

This event is online


Brown University
University of Nevada, Reno

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The end of 2020 was sweetened somewhat by news that scientists had created multiple effective vaccines for COVID-19. On receiving this news, states moved rapidly to confront the next major hurdle in the battle against the pandemic: the mass production and distribution of vaccines. Programs of public immunization are already underway in countries fortunate enough to enjoy access to the limited supply of vaccines. But for many months, and perhaps years, this supply will be subject to scarcity. Most people agree that available doses should be distributed in an equitable and fair fashion – but what, precisely, does that mean? What does just vaccine distribution look like in practice? What should our priorities be? Factors that must figure in the ethical and political calculus include the need to prevent premature deaths and long-term health problems, to reduce social and economic harms such as school and workplace closures, to help maintain the stable political function of societies, and to limit community transmission of the virus.

We invite you to join us for a live panel with Lisa Herzog (Groningen University) and Brian Berkey (The University of Pennsylvania). Lisa Herzog is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and the Centre for Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Groningen. She has published extensively on a wide range of topics at the intersection of ethics and political and economic thought. Her most recent book published in English is Reclaiming the System: Moral Responsibility, Divided Labour, and the Role of Organization in Society (Oxford University Press 2018). She is also of the co-authors of a major article on equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, which was published in Science in 2020. Brian Berkey is an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. His published work, in journals such as Mind, Philosophical Studies, and Canadian Journal of Philosophy, includes papers on corporate and individual obligations of justice, the value of fairness, and Effective Altruism.

In a conversation moderated by Ryan Doody (University of San Diego), the panelists will discuss their research on vaccine distribution and justice as it bears on the present moment.

This event is part of the PPE in a Time of Pandemic series and is open to the public.

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