COVID-19 Vaccines and the Virtues

Konrad Von Boyneburgk*, Francesca Bellazzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From a moral point of view, what arguments are there for and against seeking COVID-19 vaccination? Can it be morally permissible to require (parts of) a population to receive a vaccine? The present paper adopts a perspective of virtue ethics and argues both that it is morally right for an individual virtuous moral agent to seek COVID-19 vaccination and for a virtuous ruler to impose mandatory vaccinations on her population.

We begin by first presenting virtue ethics and the current vaccine controversy. Second, we examine whether a virtuous individual should get vaccinated. Third, we consider whether, from a moral point of view, it is right for a ruler to impose mandatory vaccinations on her citizens. Fourth, we answer some objections to our argument. Finally, we conclude that virtue ethical considerations warrant both the individual choice of getting vaccinated and mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2022


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