The Ethics of Covid-19 vaccines in Southern Africa

The arrival of Covid-19 vaccines in southern Africa refreshed hope for saving of lives and prevention of suffering caused by the corona virus. Like the Chinese saying of Deng Xiaoping: “ If you open the window for fresh air, you have to expect some flies to blow in”; implementation of the vaccination programme in southern Africa seemed to violate many ethical principles. This session explores and discusses the ethics of Covid-19 vaccines in southern Africa in relation to ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice as well as other related ethical standards. The principles are explored within both the health research and service provision environments. Topics that will stimulate debate during this session include access to vaccines, provision of vaccines, communication about vaccination, vaccine hesitancy, mandatory vaccination, and their impacts on the society.