Article Text

Download PDFPDF
What money can’t buy: an argument against paying people to get vaccinated
  1. Nancy S Jecker
  1. Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nancy S Jecker, Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA; nsjecker{at}uw.edu

Abstract

This paper considers the proposal to pay people to get vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The first section introduces arguments against the proposal, including less intrusive alternatives, unequal effects on populations and economic conditions that render payment more difficult to refuse. The second section considers arguments favouring payment, including arguments appealing to health equity, consistency, being worth the cost, respect for autonomy, good citizenship, the ends justifying the means and the threat of mutant strains. The third section spotlights long-term and short-term best practices that can build trust and reduce ‘vaccine hesitancy’ better than payment. The paper concludes that people who, for a variety of reasons, are reluctant to vaccinate should be treated like adults, not children. Despite the urgency of getting shots into arms, we should set our sights on the long-term goals of strong relationships and healthy communities.

  • COVID-19
  • autonomy
  • ethics
  • paternalism
  • public health ethics

Data availability statement

There are no data used for this work.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Data availability statement

There are no data used for this work.

View Full Text

Footnotes

  • Contributors NSJ is the sole author of this paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.