Value judgments in a COVID-19 vaccination model: A case study in the need for public involvement in health-oriented modelling

Soc Sci Med. 2021 Oct;286:114323. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114323. Epub 2021 Aug 18.


Scientific modelling is a value-laden process: the decisions involved can seldom be made using 'scientific' criteria alone, but rather draw on social and ethical values. In this paper, we draw on a body of philosophical literature to analyze a COVID-19 vaccination model, presenting a case study of social and ethical value judgments in health-oriented modelling. This case study urges us to make value judgments in health-oriented models explicit and interpretable by non-experts and to invite public involvement in making them.

Keywords: COVID-19; Health policy; Modelling; PPI; Patient and public involvement; Vaccination; Values.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Judgment*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines