Experts are sparse on the ethical question: should we be paid to get COVID-19 shots?


LONDON (Reuters) – A moralist professor at a leading UK university suggests that governments should pay citizens to be vaccinated against COVID-19, sparking debate over whether such incentives are ethical, or Are dangerous, and will increase or increase the range.

In this illustration taken on October 30, 2020, a woman holds a small bottle labeled with a “coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

Arguing that governments should consider a “risk-for-pay” approach to encourage their populations to have COVID-19 shots when they become available, the Uihiro Center for Research at the University of Oxford Professor of Practical Ethics Julian Savulescu said it would allow people to make an informed choice

In an article in BMJ British Medical Journal, he wrote, “Anti-vaxxers can never be convinced to change their stance, but encouraging vaccination can persuade others not to do so. Could. “

“The benefit of paying for risk is that people are choosing voluntarily to take it. As long as we are accurate in stating… the risks and benefits of a vaccine, it is up to you to determine what to pay. “

With scores of potential COVID-19 vaccines in development, and some hope to be ready for regulatory approval and possible deployment early next month, public health officials worldwide address various levels of vaccine confidence and inhibition Are considering ways.

Preliminary results of the survey conducted in 19 countries from three months to August showed that only 70% of British and American respondents would receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The findings of a Reuters / Ipsos poll in May found that a quarter of Americans had little or no interest in taking the vaccine against pandemic disease.

Savulsuku set the precedent for payment for “civil duty”: blood donation is paid in many countries, he wrote.

But other experts strongly cautioned against offering financial incentives.

“Paying people to get vaccinated would set a very dangerous precedent,” said Keith Neill, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Nottingham.

“Social media will be a field day of lying, suggesting it may not be safe if you need to pay it.”

When it comes to regular childhood vaccines – against infectious diseases such as measles – the World Health Organization says that making them mandatory is one of the best ways to boost coverage rates. But policies encouraging or vaccinating for adults are rare.

Helen Bedford, a professor of child public health at University College London, said the idea was “ill-thoughtful and potentially counter-productive”.

“In addition to the flu vaccine for health workers, there is little experience of mandating the vaccine for adults, and little experience providing incentives,” she said.

He said a better investment would be in encouraging the uptake of COVID vaccines with “complete and transparent communication”.

Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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