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COVID-19 vaccine debate

Whether or not people will get vaccinated against COVID-19 is shaping up to be a “huge issue,” says Northwestern ethicist

CHICAGO --- Dr. Kelly Michelson, director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says whether or not people will get vaccinated against COVID-19 is shaping up to be a “huge issue.”

Michelson is available to discuss the concerns and ethical issues around vaccinations, following a poll reporting only half of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccination. The poll, by Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, showed one in five respondents said they would flat-out refuse vaccination.

Contact marla-paul@northwestern.edu to reach Dr. Michelson.

Michelson can discuss several issues about a COVID-19 vaccination including: 

  • “If we have an effective safe vaccine, who gets it and how is it paid for?”
  • “We've seen other therapies, like remdesivir, used in clinical practice without a lot of data.” 
  • “Some people may feel uncomfortable about getting an immunization without a clearly defined risk profile.”
  • “Some people may feel they are at little risk of getting sick or dying from COVID-19 and therefore choose not to get the immunization.”
  • “Whether there is a mandate to vaccinate people will be a function of its effectiveness and duration.”