The COVID-19 pandemic has had huge impacts on all of our lives over the past nine months and will continue to shape our lives in the future. We’ve changed how we provide library services, teach law school classes, and how we communicate with others. 

A bright spot in the near future is the prospect of a vaccine (or, indeed, several vaccines- as many biotech companies like Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and others complete clinical trials and apply for emergency use authorization from the FDA) against COVID-19 that could allow us to return to a “normal” life. 

Beyond all of the scientific hoops to jump through to create these vaccines (as well as potential treatments for the virus), there are many legal implications as well. 

In the Law Library’s most recent podcast episode, we talked with Prof. Alta Charo about these legal implications. Prof. Charo makes sense of a dizzying combination of bioethical, legal, and scientific considerations- discussing how vaccines and treatments have been and are being created, how vaccines might be distributed and allocated, and the role of the federal, state, and local governments in this process. Prof. Charo is a leading expert on bioethics and she is an engaging speaker on this topic. 

(For additional information related to Prof. Charo’s episode, see the NIH’s website on the coronavirus as well as the seminal 1905 Supreme Court case relating to vaccination.) 

If you aren’t all podcasted out after that, The New York Times’ The Daily podcast also put out an episode this week called, “When and How You’ll Get a Vaccine,” which discusses many of the same issues as Prof. Charo does in her episode.

We hope you stay safe over this final exams time and we wish you all the best here at the Law Library.

Submitted by Emma E Babler on December 4, 2020

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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