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Ethics & Vaccines: The Values of Society Are Reflected in Vaccine Development & Distribution


As the majority of Americans wait for their turn to get their Covid-19 vaccine, questions abound over what justifies one group to take priority over another. We discuss the ethical questions that arise in how vaccines are allocated and developed—and what these questions say about the moral values of our society.


Jessica Miller, clinical ethicist; professor of philosophy, University of Maine

Dr. James Jarvis, physician leader for incident command, Northern Light Health

Bjørn Hofmann, professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; specializes in philosophy of medicine

Erika Ziller, chair of public health, University of Southern Maine; specializes in rural health

Cliff Guthrie, faculty, Husson University; teaches and writes in the field of ethics, philosophy and religion


Cindy’s first foray into journalism after graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism was to intern with CNN in China in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre. She then worked in print journalism over the decades, as a factchecker, writer and editor, with publications ranging from the Los Angeles Times Magazine to the magazine of the National Zoo—where she walked past the cheetahs on the way to work each morning—to a food trends magazine.