Episode 1 – The Fight to Bare arms: Ethics and Equity in COVID Vaccination

Episode 1

(published 10/22/2020) 

The fight to bare arms: ethics and equity in COVID vaccination

In this, the inaugural episode of the GHC3 podcast, our hosts Ken Berta and Dr. Rob Breiman discuss the complex and multifaceted issues surrounding COVID-19 vaccination. To help tackle this topic, they are joined by two special guests: Jim Lavery, Professor of Global Health Ethics at Emory University and Dr. Theresa Cullen, Director of Pima County Public Health Department. 

Jim shines a light on the role ethics could, and should, play in the prioritization of vaccine allocation, while Dr. Theresa Cullen underlines the need for community collaboration and data-driven decisions. 



  • 01:54 — The WHO is still the leading voice – and that voice says a vaccine is not a silver bullet. 
  • 07:55 — Production of a safe and effective vaccine may turn out to be the easy part. 
  • 12:42 — How ethics can help us understand the problems we face. 
  • 16:50 — Vaccine allocation models: the WHO model versus the Fair Priority Model. 
  • 19:40 — The last mile of distribution will determine how vaccine equity is perceived. 
  • 25:05 — What are the ethical goals in equitable distribution? 
  • 28:14 — Technology is producing vaccine at an unprecedented rate, but its only worth it if people receive a shot in the arm. 
  • 31:20 — We have to approach this pandemic as an opportunity and recognize the solution lies in collaboration: our success depends upon each other. 
  • 38:05 — The haunting question is who will get what and how will we decide? 
  • 43:22 — The ultimate public health goal? Data-driven decisions that guide integrated health and human services. 
  • 47:04 — Just who are Spike and Surge?  
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