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The Demands of Expertise
  • Tyler Paetkau
Tyler Paetkau
McGill University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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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.