An analysis of the ethics in the role of government in vaccination distribution and regulation as a response to vaccine refusal resurgence
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Vaccinations play a vital role in the health and well-being of communities and individuals alike. With a rise of vaccine refusal in recent decades, societies globally are seeing spikes of disease that had been seemingly eradicated in those areas. This thesis looks at the role that government plays in regulating and implementing vaccinations, while also outlining potential methods to discourage vaccine refusal and misinformation about vaccinations. It also discusses the ethical implications of vaccinations, both of governmental mandates and of individuals who choose to forgo vaccination for themselves or make that decision for their children, looking at the public health decisions from philosophical perspectives including utilitarianism, social contract theory, liberal cosmopolitanism, and others. In a pandemic era, vaccines and vaccine mandates continue to have a prevalent role in public health policy and this thesis attempts to address various angles to navigate the issue.