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Are health care workers more obligated than others to get a Covid-19 vaccine?

In this week’s episode of the “First Opinion Podcast,” physician and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel answers that question and more. He argues that hospitals and other health care facilities nationwide, including nursing homes and home health companies, need to issue vaccine mandates for all employees to prevent further deaths from Covid-19.

“You take an oath to put the interests of your patients first. That’s an ethical obligation. For retail workers, it’s not like, ‘I have an oath to put the interests of the person who happened to walk into the store looking at a pair of jeans first,'” Emanuel said. “So I think that’s a fundamental difference” between health care workers and other workers.


The conversation stems from the First Opinion, “Vaxxed or axed: To protect patients, every health care worker must be vaccinated,” written by Emanuel and his colleagues Matthew Guido and Patricia Hong.

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And if you have any feedback for us — First Opinion authors to feature on the podcast, vocal mannerisms the host needs to jettison, kudos or darts — email us at [email protected] and please put “podcast” in the subject line.

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