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posted on 2023-08-14, 14:30 authored by Tyler PaetkauTyler Paetkau

This paper challenges the prevailing notion that vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers is an epistemic failing in their capacity as healthcare workers. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, a significant number of HCWs remain vaccine hesitant, which has triggered strong public response. This hesitancy is characterized as both an ethical and an epistemic failing. In this paper, I focus on the latter response, which assumes that healthcare workers should have a superior understanding of vaccines. In contrast, I argue that healthcare workers epistemic abilities and responsibilities exist on a spectrum determined by their level of rational authority regarding vaccinations and the epistemic resources available to them. As such, I argue that hesitancy on the part of most healthcare workers does not constitute an epistemic failing.


Declaration of conflicts of interest


Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Canada

Lead author job role

  • Postgraduate Student

Lead author institution

McGill University

Human Participants

  • No

Terms agreed

  • Yes, I agree to Advance terms


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