• SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccine Development and Production: An Ethical Way Forward

      Iserson, Kenneth V.; Univ Arizona, Dept Emergency Med (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2020-06-05)
      The world awaits a SARS-CoV-2 virus (i.e., COVID-19 disease) vaccine to keep the populace healthy, fully reopen their economies, and return their social and healthcare systems to “normal.” Vaccine safety and efficacy requires meticulous testing and oversight; this paper describes how despite grandiose public statements, the current vaccine development, testing, and production methods may prove to be ethically dubious, medically dangerous, and socially volatile. The basic moral concern is the potential danger to the health of human test subjects and, eventually, many vaccine recipients. This is further complicated by economic and political pressures to reduce government oversight on rushed vaccine testing and production, nationalistic distribution goals, and failure to plan for the widespread immunization needed to produce global herd immunity. As this paper asserts, the public must be better informed to assess promises about the novel vaccines being produced and to tolerate delays and uncertainty.