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Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel on the Ethics of Vaccine Distribution

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USC Doctor administers vaccine to patient who sitting in their car
Doctor Richard Dang (R), Assistant professor USC School of Pharmacy, administers a Covid-19 vaccine to Ashley Van Dyke as mass-vaccination of healthcare workers takes place at Dodger Stadium on January 15, 2021 in Los Angeles, Calif. (IRFAN KHAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Reports continue to surface this week of vaccine line-jumpers — people who, knowingly or not,  take advantage of loopholes that enable them to get a coveted COVID shot ahead of those who need one more urgently. In the Bay Area and in Los Angeles, vaccine access codes meant for vulnerable communities of color circulated by text message to some ineligible Californians, who used them at mass vaccination sites. Separately, “vaccine chasers” are gathering at some pharmacies and clinics in hopes of receiving a dose that would otherwise be thrown away. It’s all raising questions about the ethics and effectiveness of current state and national vaccine distribution systems. We’ll talk about what more can be done to promote equitable vaccine allocation.



Ezekiel Emanuel, professor of medical ethics and health policy and vice provost of global initiatives, University of Pennsylvania


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