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Should states restrict recipient choice amongst relevant and available COVID-19 vaccines?

Cave, Emma; McMahon, Aisling

Should states restrict recipient choice amongst relevant and available COVID-19 vaccines? Thumbnail


Authors

Aisling McMahon



Abstract

Several COVID-19 vaccinations have been authorised worldwide. Whilst some vaccines are contraindicated for certain age groups or health conditions, there are often multiple clinically suitable authorised vaccine brands available. Few states have allowed recipients to choose amongst them, though there are multiple reasons why choice would be valued. We consider the policy justifications for state controls on recipient choice amongst COVID-19 vaccine brands, focusing on European countries and drawing on the UK context as an example. We contrast justifications for not offering choice at the height of the early pandemic crisis, and as some states seek to de-escalate their response and transition towards living with COVID-19. We argue that in the latter context public expectations of choice between available vaccine brands and platforms may rise, but that several considerations may justify continued restrictions on choice. A key factor which states should continue to take into consideration is the global nature of the pandemic. Insofar as offering recipient choice at a national level might exacerbate global inequity in vaccine distribution, states retain a normative and legal justification for restricting choice amongst available and clinically suitable vaccine brands.

Citation

Cave, E., & McMahon, A. (2023). Should states restrict recipient choice amongst relevant and available COVID-19 vaccines?. Medical Law Review, 31(2), 272-292. https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwac042

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 29, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 14, 2022
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Sep 30, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 19, 2022
Journal Medical Law Review
Print ISSN 0967-0742
Electronic ISSN 1464-3790
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 2
Pages 272-292
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwac042
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1192911

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