There are about 40 different potential covid vaccines already being tested on humans, with almost a hundred more at earlier stages of development in the lab. The delivery of a vaccine is seen by many as the silver bullet which could end the pandemic for good. But they are more morally complex than we might at first assume. Join us as we sift through the ethical questions around clinical trials, testing vaccines on humans, how they can be most equitably distributed, and even what material they are made with.
In each episode of Matters of Life and Death, brought to you by Premier Unbelievable?, John Wyatt and his son Tim discuss issues in healthcare, ethics, technology, science, faith and more. John is a doctor, professor of ethics, and writer and speaker on many of these topics, while Tim is a religion and social affairs journalist. We talk about how Christians can better engage with a particular question of life, death or something else in between.
The first coronavirus vaccine jabs have already gone into the arms of people here in the UK, as Britain this week became the first country in the world to actually deploy a vaccine which had completed all its clinical trials and been signed off by the regulator. But there remain lots of questions about the vaccine – how has it been made so fast, can we be sure it is safe, who should get it first, and can Christians be given it without compromising on their religious convictions?
Listen to previous episodes on covid vaccines here:
Read John’s article on vaccines and Christian ethics here – https://johnwyatt.com/2020/10/08/article-coronavirus-vaccines-and-christian-ethics/ At the bottom is a document which has more detailed information on which particular vaccines have used which particular cell lines which may have ethical concerns, produced by the pro-life research centre the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
John has also put together a document on his website tackling some of the frequently asked questions about the vaccine – https://johnwyatt.com/2020/12/21/faq-coronavirus-vaccines-frequently-asked-questions/
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I have expanded on some of these ideas further, and in particular the issue of using tissue from aborted fetuses in vaccine development, in an article which you can read here. I have also an FAQ tackling some of the questions people might have over the vaccine here.