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Prioritizing Vaccine Access for Vulnerable but Stigmatized Groups

Prioritizing Vaccine Access for Vulnerable but Stigmatized Groups This article discusses the prioritization of scarce and in-demand influenza vaccines during a pandemic. The mass vaccination campaign in Canada against H1N1 influenza in 2009 illustrated that some groups considered vulnerable may also be stigmatized. In 2009, prisoners and people with severe obesity were given priority of H1N1 vaccination in some Canadian jurisdictions. Assigning priority for vaccination to such groups may be socially unpopular. This article examines a number of possible arguments that might motivate opposition to prioritizing stigmatized groups. We find these arguments flawed. They rely on a suspect social worth rationale for the prioritization of scarce resources. Furthermore, human rights concerns support the prioritization of vulnerable but stigmatized groups for vaccination during a pandemic. We also argue that it is necessary to prioritize vulnerable but stigmatized groups to promote the common good in its various forms. The article concludes with an analysis of an objection that no vulnerable groupsstigmatized or otherwiseshould be given priority for influenza vaccination in a pandemic. We argue that the objection is based on a confusion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Health Ethics Oxford University Press

Prioritizing Vaccine Access for Vulnerable but Stigmatized Groups

Public Health Ethics , Volume 5 (3) – Nov 18, 2012

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References (20)

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. Available online at www.phe.oxfordjournals.org
ISSN
1754-9973
eISSN
1754-9981
DOI
10.1093/phe/phs010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article discusses the prioritization of scarce and in-demand influenza vaccines during a pandemic. The mass vaccination campaign in Canada against H1N1 influenza in 2009 illustrated that some groups considered vulnerable may also be stigmatized. In 2009, prisoners and people with severe obesity were given priority of H1N1 vaccination in some Canadian jurisdictions. Assigning priority for vaccination to such groups may be socially unpopular. This article examines a number of possible arguments that might motivate opposition to prioritizing stigmatized groups. We find these arguments flawed. They rely on a suspect social worth rationale for the prioritization of scarce resources. Furthermore, human rights concerns support the prioritization of vulnerable but stigmatized groups for vaccination during a pandemic. We also argue that it is necessary to prioritize vulnerable but stigmatized groups to promote the common good in its various forms. The article concludes with an analysis of an objection that no vulnerable groupsstigmatized or otherwiseshould be given priority for influenza vaccination in a pandemic. We argue that the objection is based on a confusion.

Journal

Public Health EthicsOxford University Press

Published: Nov 18, 2012

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