the National Consultative Ethics Committee

Day after day, the coronavirus vaccination campaign seems to be getting more concrete. The government, in any case, is getting organized. “I hope that the National Consultative Ethics Committee can contribute to the definition of an ethical framework on vaccination policy” : this is the mission entrusted to CCNE by the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, in a referral dated November 16.

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In the text that The cross was able to consult, the Minister of Health notes: “Beyond the scientific, medical and economic aspects of the development and production of vaccines (…), important societal and ethical challenges must also be taken up in order to contribute to the adhesion of health personnel and the public and to the success upcoming vaccination campaigns. “

Mandatory vaccination and communication

Among these “ethical challenges” on which the CCNE – which has just set up a working group – must reflect, in particular the thorny issue of compulsory vaccination and free consent appears. In his speech of November 24, Emmanuel Macron rejected the idea that the vaccine is compulsory, without silencing the debate on the relevance of a strong incentive for vaccination for fragile populations or health professionals who, more exposed to the disease, also develop a greater risk of transmitting it (in nursing homes, for example).

Another issue that seems crucial for the members of the body: communication. How to inform the public in an ethical way, assuming for example that unknowns about the vaccine remain, without scaring or increasing the mistrust of a part of the population? Questions of security (what balance of benefits / risks for patients?), Justice and solidarity (which audience to target first?) As well as freedom (the healthcare professional can be targeted first?) Should also be taken into account in the discussions. choose which vaccine to administer?)

The reflection will be based on the state of progress of knowledge on the various vaccines, as well as on the recommendations which will be formulated, in principle at the beginning of December, by the High Authority of Health. CCNE’s opinion should be returned to it around mid-December.


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