Video Interview: Is Vaccine Nationalism Justified?

High income countries have been criticised for hoarding covid-19 vaccines: they have been accused of ‘vaccine nationalism’. But what exactly is vaccine nationalism? Is it really wrong to prioritise one’s own citizens, and, if so, why? How can we do better when the next pandemic strikes? In this Thinking Out Loud interview, philosopher Dr Jonathan Pugh (Oxford) discusses these questions with Dr Katrien Devolder (philosopher, and producer of the Thinking Out Loud interview series).

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3 Responses to Video Interview: Is Vaccine Nationalism Justified?

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  • Paul D. Van Pelt says:

    I suppose my vision is narrow,given the modern, egalitarian view of things. Yet, we do need to ‘accept the things we cannot change; change those we can;and have wisdom to know the difference’. Through the ages, we have not had capacity/knowledge to save everyone during time of plague and pestilence. We still cannot. Populations are near-astronomical and resources are not infinite. Vaccine nationalism is another trendy term, intended to shame us for inaction or inattention. Practical ethics can neither defend nor condemn the lack of foresight and resources.

    • Ian says:

      We can agree about this wonderfully narrow example of the difficulties which arise within the logic of ethics. Viz. a pragmatic response which removes the potential for aspiration and progress along any other route, at the same time strongly supporting self interest and a status quo by removing the conscience factor and reducing human feeling thereby potentially limiting the stirring of any real human moral sentiment. The wisdom of recognizing this routinely logical route which allows the increase of an individual’s feel good factor by reducing negative emotions is placed as a mere sidereal of difference. Strictly following that logical progression we may not be able to agree on any good reason for any value in vaccine nationalism, resulting in a power base conflict between any arguments being presented to the detriment of all worldviews.

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