Case Study – Vaccine Line Skipping: A Matter of Fairness

Case Study – Vaccine Line Skipping: A Matter of Fairness

A woman practicing yoga.By Ryan Pferdehirt, D.Bioethics, HEC-C

April 2021

Vaccine Line Skipping Bioethics Case Study




Jessica is a 33-year-old female, who relatively speaking, is a healthy individual. She does have level 1 asthma, which is well managed and has not had an incident or attack in recent memory. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she has been “working from home” for the past year, with no excessive diminishing of her quality of life.

She is not married and does not have any children, but she does have family that she has not been comfortable visiting until she is vaccinated. This is frustrating because her father is turning 70 soon and she would very much like to visit to celebrate. Due to her status and health, she does not currently qualify for vaccination. She has been told by friends that she could register, and all she had to do is state that her asthma is more severe than it currently is understood. Her friends say that it would not be lying, only a “little over exaggeration”, but that it is okay because she would then be vaccinated, able to visit her family, and plus, it is only jumping ahead a few weeks. Soon the vaccine will be available for everyone, so what is the harm in jumping the line a little? Her friends say she should do it so she can visit her father on his birthday.

Jessica is conflicted.

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