Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s leading causes of death due to infection and efforts to control TB would be substantially aided by the availability of an improved TB vaccine. There are currently nine new TB vaccines in clinical development, and the first efficacy trials are due to commence in 2009. There are many complex ethical issues which arise at all stages of TB vaccine development, from the need to conduct trials in developing countries to informed consent and the process of ethical review. While it is important that these issues are discussed, it may also be timely to consider the challenges which may arise if a vaccine in clinical development proves to be highly effective. We examine a number of scenarios where decisions on the deployment of a new TB vaccine may impact on the rights and liberty of the individual.
Fletcher, H.A.; Hawkridge, A.; McShane, H. A New Vaccine for Tuberculosis: The Challenges of Development and Deployment. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (2009) 6 (2) 219-228. [DOI: 10.1007/s11673-009-9153-6]