Ethics expert addresses how Covid vaccines should be distributed

24 November 2020, 16:04

By Sam Sholli

This is the moment a leading scholar in humanitarian ethics tackled the issue of how Covid vaccines should be distributed when they are rolled out.

Dr Hugo Slim, who is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, addressed the issue while being interviewed by LBC's Nick Ferrari.

The exchange comes amid the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine being hailed as a milestone in the fight against the virus after tests showed it can prevent at least 70 percent of people from getting Covid-19.

The University of Oxford said that interim analysis from its phase three vaccine trial shows that the 70% effectiveness comes from combining two doses. One was 90% effective, the other 62%

Dr Slim said: "A key question is: Do you want this vaccine, or would you rather somebody else had it?"

"And I think, like a lot of people, there's a sense that some old people are relatively safe, they feel they've lived a satisfying life, they're sort of...biographically more complete than young people.

"And [there's] a sense that they would like to share that vaccine and give it to other people to get the country going."

Speaking about how the Government should handle distribution of vaccines in policy terms, Dr Slim said: "I do think there needs to be a policy plus local discretion.

"[There needs to be] discretion and flexibility put in the hands of people who know the granular detailed individual situations in their GP practice, around their school [and] in their social work caseload.

"So I think there's got to be flexibility built into the system as soon as possible."