Ethical principles for collective immunisation programmes

Vaccine. 2004 Aug 13;22(23-24):3122-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2004.01.062.


Ethical issues arise in discussion of both the content and implementation of collective immunisation programmes. In this paper we propose and discuss seven principles that may guide reflection and debate in this controversial area. Whilst this paper is not intended to be a final and complete account of the relevant principles for collective immunisation programmes we hope that it can help stimulate more active discussion of these issues. Debate about these principles may help to make moral conflicts more explicit and open up the possibility of resolution. We argue that analysis and discussion of the ethical issues should be part of any justification of collective vaccination programmes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mass Vaccination / ethics*
  • Public Health
  • Risk Assessment
  • Vaccines / standards
  • Voluntary Programs / ethics


  • Vaccines