Coronavirus Ethics and Policy Insights and Resources

The Berman Institute of Bioethics is striving to ensure that the international public health response to COVID-19 is ethically informed as well as effective.

Through years of experience and scholarship, and tested through multiple threatened and actual epidemics, scholars at the Berman Institute have led research to identify the ethical principles that should guide the actions of governments and other institutions in a moment like this. This website is a resource for sharing those ideas.

An empty hospital hallway
Gail Geller Joins New Project as part of GLIDE Collaborative
Assessing ethical implications of uncertainty for clinical practice during a pandemic: the case of Covid-19 and physicians’ knowledge of evidence-based medicine
Map from the COMIT website
Global Policies on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy Vary Widely by Country
Berman Institute faculty create worldwide snapshot of policies influencing access to COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant people
States Must Implement Teacher Vaccination Plans and Tracking to Ensure Safe School Reopenings
eSchool+ Initiative launches dashboard of state-by-state policies and status
Government Leaders Should Not Skip to the Front of the COVID-19 Vaccine Line
Prioritizing officials without clear, public criteria will undermine public health response, claims NEJM paper co-authored by Berman Institute faculty
Students attending school wearing PPE
Prof. Collins Helps Create Educational Modules for School and District Leaders About In-Person Learning in COVID Era
Provides U.S. school & district officials with best Practices a to reduce COVID-19 risks during in-person learning
New Global Tracker to Measure Pandemic’s Impact on Education Worldwide
Tracker a collaborative effort of Johns Hopkins University, the World Bank, and UNICEF

JHU Hub | September 15, 2021
Are Boosters a Bioethical Bust?
Ruth Faden was the subject of a Q&A

The New York Times | September 14, 2021
The Global Vaccine Drive Is Failing. Can It Be Saved?
Ruth Faden was quoted

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | September 12, 2021
When will international air travel soar again after COVID-19?
Joe Ali was quoted

Time Magazine | September 10, 2021
Could we have avoided the Covid-19 health care rationing crisis?
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Baltimore Sun | August 24, 2021
Pandemic reveals the limits of civil liberties
Nancy Kass was quoted

MSNBC | August 20, 2021
Covid booster shots are coming – and the world isn’t happy
Ruth Faden was quoted

Wired | August 20, 2021
The US Is Getting Covid Booster Shots. The World Is Furious
Ruth Faden was quoted

New York Times | August 18, 2021
The Truth About Long Covid Is Complicated. Better Treatment Isn’t
Zackary Berger co-authored the commentary

Axios | August 18, 2021
The ethics of vaccine booster shots
Ruth Faden was quoted

Washington Post | August 9, 2021
Is you doctor, dentist or hairstylist vaccinated? Tips for how to ask – and avoid awkwardness
Ruth Faden was quoted

Chicago Tribune | August 4, 2021
Is it ethical to offer prize money to people who waited to get vaccinated?
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

NBC News | August 3, 2021
Covid pandemic linked to increased nearsightedness in kids
Megan Collins is quoted

The Guardian | August 1, 2021
American mulls vaccine mandates – will they work?
Ruth Faden was quoted

Denver Post | July 24, 2021
Colorado has 2 months to use 350,000 doses of stockpiled vaccine before they expire
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Conversation | June 30
The ethical questions raised by COVID-19 vaccines: 5 essential reads
Travis Rieder is featured

The Times of India | June 29
With nod for vaccine in pregnancy, crores of families will breathe easy
The COMIT tracker is cited

JHU Hub | June 28
Global policies on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy vary widely by country according to new online tracker
Ruth Faden is quoted

The New York Times | June 22
How to Have the Hard Vaccination Conversations
Ruth Faden is quoted

WYPR-FM | June 21
Midday On Ethics: The Challenge of Vaccination Authentication
In conversation with Jeffrey Kahn

The New York Times | June 17
Could the U.S. Have Saved More Lives? 5 Alternate Scenarios for the Vaccine Rollout
Ruth Faden is quoted

Global Citizen | June 10
The US Will Donate 500 Million Pfizer Vaccine Doses to the World. What Else Can Biden Do to Help End COVID-19?
Ruth Faden is quoted

The Atlantic |June 8, 2021
On Top of Everything Else, the Pandemic Messed with Our Morals
Cynda Hylton Rushton is quoted

The Commonwealth Fund: The Dose | June 4
“It’s Really, Truly Everywhere”: How the Opioid Crisis Worsened with COVID-19
Brendan Saloner is quoted

The Wall Street Journal | June 1
The Pandemic Made KidsEyesight Worse, Doctors Say
Megan Collins is quoted

Good Morning America
| June 1, 2021
COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective for pregnant people, NIH director says
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Baltimore Sun | May 28, 2021
Should employers make vaccination mandatory?
Ruth Faden and Nancy Kass authored the commentary

National Geographic | May 25, 2021
Can teens get vaccinated if their parents object?
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Hill | May 25, 2021
Jails shrunk during the pandemic – here’s how to keep them small
Brendan Saloner authored the commentary

CNN | May 23, 2021
How feasible is it for businesses to require proof of vaccination? Experts are split
Nancy Kass was quoted

Vox | May 20, 2021
Why Covax, the fund to vaccinate the world, is struggling
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Conversation | April 20, 2021
There are plenty of moral reasons to be vaccinated – but that doesn’t mean it’s your ethical duty
Travis Rieder authored the commentary

CNBC | April 14, 2021
Panicked patients call doctors as Covid vaccine hesitancy rises with J&J blood clot issue
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Philadelphia Inquirer | April 14, 2021
Scrambled plans, delays, and new fears accompany J&J COVID-19 vaccination pause
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Hub | April 14, 2021
Ending the pandemic and combating vaccine resistance: Modern questions with a long history
Jeremy Greene was a featured guest

Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2021
Maryland pauses use of Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine as CDC, FDA study six reports of blood clots
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Voice of America | April 13, 2021
US Pauses Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Over Rare Blood Clots
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Education Week | April 9, 2021
Absenteeism Is the Wrong Student Engagement Metric to Use Right Now
Ruth Faden co-authored the commentary

Scripps TV | April 8, 2021
Johns Hopkins creates online site to track school reopening decisions
Megan Collins was quoted

NPR | April 6, 2021
Do We Need Vaccine Passports?
Nancy Kass was a featured guest

Cleveland Plain-Dealer | April 3, 2021
Coronavirus vaccine passports beg the question who should know whether you’ve gotten the shot
Nancy Kass was quoted

NPR | March 26, 2021
Why Pandemics Give Birth to Hate; From Bubonic Plague to COVID-19
Nancy Kass was quoted

NPR | March 24, 2021
Where Does the United States Fit Into the Global Vaccination Effort?
Ruth Faden was a featured guest

New York Times | March 19, 2021
Europe’s Vaccine Ethics Call: Do No Harm and Let More Die?
Ruth Faden was quoted | March 17, 2021
Should You Wait to Get the Covid Vaccine if You Think Other People Need it More?
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

MarketWatch | March 15, 2021
Am I a jerk for getting a COVID-19 vaccine if I feel healthy and work from home?
Ruth Faden was quoted | March 15, 2021
Vaccine guilt is real. Here’s what experts say about it
Ruth Faden was quoted

MSNBC | March 12, 2021
Life after Lockdown: Experts Answer Questions on Pregnancy and Parenting During the Pandemic
Ruth Faden was a featured guest

WFMJ-TV | March 11, 2021
Frontline COVID-19 nurses reflect on pandemic’s impact
Cynda Rushton was interviewed

The Atlantic | March 11, 2021
People Are Keeping Their Vaccines Secret
Ruth Faden was quoted

BBC News | March 10, 2021
Covid: The man with ‘super antibodies’
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Devex “Inside Development” | March 10, 2021
Middle-income countries are caught in a COVID-19 financing gap
Ruth Faden was quoted

Wired | March 9, 2021
The Pandemic Can’t End While Wealthy Nations Hoard Shots
Ruth Faden was quoted

WBUR-FM  “On Point” | March 9, 2021
Vaccine Passports: Public Health Tool or Invasion of Civil Liberties?
Ruth Faden was a featured guest

WBAL-TV | March 7, 2021
JHU Introduces New Tool to Track Data about Vaccines and School Openings
Megan Collins was the featured guest

Washington Post | March 6, 2021
Your employer can ask whether you’ve received the coronavirus vaccine – and even require it
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

STAT News “First Opinion” | March 6, 2021
Using the new Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to create equity and trust
Ruth Faden co-authored the commentary

Fox News | March 5, 2021
Teacher vaccinations go untracked amid school reopening push
Megan Collins was quoted

CBS News | March 3, 2021
Should you get a coronavirus vaccine if you’re pregnant? Experts say medical trials need to change
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Telegraph (U.K.) | March 3, 2021
India and Mexico emerge as hotspots for attacks on Covid health workers
Len Rubenstein was quoted

The Baltimore Sun | March 2, 2021
Lack of eligibility check at Maryland’s mass COVID vaccination sites is a ‘double-edged sword,’ experts say
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

USA Today | February 24, 2021
COVID-19 exposure warnings for iPhone, Android phones: Apps still await widespread adoption
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Associated Press | February 24, 2021
Health network allowed employees’ kin to skip vaccine line
Nancy Kass was quoted

NPR | February 22, 2021
The Line for the Shot: The Ethics of COVID-19 Vaccination
Nancy Kass was quoted

The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2021
Kids already know ‘stop, drop and roll’ for fire emergencies; it’s time to teach ‘stop, wash and mask on’ for COVID-19
Megan Collins co-authored the commentary

The Atlantic | February 19, 2021
A Quite Possibly Wonderful Summer
Ruth Faden was quoted

VICE | February 18, 2021
Pain and Isolation Are Driving America’s Lockdown Overdose Surge
Travis Rieder was quoted

Politico | February 11, 2021
The science of school reopenings
Megan Collins is quoted

Marketwatch | February 11, 2021
Some hospitals are giving wealthy donors early COVID-19 vaccinations
Joseph Carrese is quoted

Washington Post | February 8, 2021
The best vaccination strategy is simple: Focus on Americans 65 and older
Ruth Faden co-authored the commentary

Wall Street Journal | February 6, 2021
With Covid-19 Vaccine Waiting Lists in the Millions, Some Skip the Line
Ruth Faden was quoted

NPR | February 6, 2021
Is It Ever OK to Jump Ahead in the Vaccine Line?
Ruth Faden was interviewed

National Geographic | February 5, 2021
Should you get the COVID-19 vaccine while you’re pregnant
Ruth Faden was quoted

Deutsche Welle | February 5, 2021
COVID-19 vaccines as ‘biological warfare’ in Middle East?
Leonard Rubenstein was quoted

Wall Street Journal | February 1, 2021
Covid-19 Vaccines Leave Pregnant Women in a Quandry
Ruth Faden was referenced

NPR’s “All Things Considered” | January 30, 2021
How States Are Prioritizing Limited Vaccine Supplies
Ruth Faden was the featured guest

New York Times | January 28, 2021
Pregnant Women Get Conflicting Advice on Covid-19 Vaccines
Carleigh Krubiner was quoted

Yahoo! News | January 27, 2021
Protections in place to stop the rich from cutting the vaccine line
Ruth Faden was interviewed

JHU Hub | January 25, 2021
Government leaders should not skip to the front of the COVID-19 vaccine line
Jeffrey Kahn and Mark Hughes were quoted

The Times (Beaver County) | January 24, 2021
The ethics of COVID-19 vaccinations – who gets it and when
Ruth Faden was quoted

New York Magazine | January 22, 2021
Amid a disastrous vaccine rollout, is it wrong to take advantage of technicalities and glitches?
Ruth Faden was quoted

“Good Morning America” | January 19, 2021
I’m pregnant and a doctor: This is why I got the COVID-19 vaccine
Ruth Faden was quoted

Los Angeles Times | January 15, 2021
Some workers don’t want a COVID-19 vaccine. Can their bosses make them get it anyway?
Ruth Faden was quoted

NPR | January 15, 2021
COVID-19 Supply Deal Lets Vaccine Maker Earmark Doses for Employees and Their Families
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Baltimore Sun | January 15, 2021
Maryland expands vaccine eligibility even as vaccines remain in short supply
Ruth Faden was quoted

New York Times | January 14, 2021
Johnson & Johnson Expects Vaccine Results Soon but Lags in Production
Ruth Faden was quoted

Inside Higher Ed | January 13, 2021
Higher Ed Workers Get in the COVID Vaccine Line
Ruth Faden was quoted

Medscape | January 12, 2021
Should People Be Paid to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Nancy Kass was quoted

The Huffington Post | January 11, 2021
Experts Predict What School Will Look Like Next Fall
Megan Collins was quoted

The New York Times | January 10, 2020
At Elite Medical Centers, Even Workers Who Don’t Qualify Are Vaccinated
Ruth Faden was quoted

JHU Hub | January 6, 2021
Fighting food insecurity during a global pandemic
Jessica Fanzo was featured

The Baltimore Sun | January 4, 2021
A blue ribbon commission is needed to chart a path to reopening for schools
Megan Collins and Ruth Faden co-authored a commentary

The Washington Post | January 1, 2021
Pregnant women agonize over whether to get coronavirus vaccine
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Baltimore Sun | December 31, 2020
More babies could be delivered at home
Marielle Gross co-authored the commentary

USA Today | December 22, 2020
COVID-19 vaccine plan means some states will lag in getting shots to highest-risk groups
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

New York Times | December 22, 2020
I’m a Pregnant Doctor. Should I Get the Covid Vaccine?
Ruth Faden was quoted

BBC | December 21, 2020
Will pregnant women receive the vaccine? It depends
Ruth Faden was quoted

NPR’s “All Things Considered” | December 20, 2020
The Ethics of Who Gets the COVID Vaccine and When
Ruth Faden was the featured guest

Wall Street Journal | December 18, 2020
Teachers Vie for COVID-19 Vaccine Priority
Ruth Faden was quoted

Washington Post | December 17, 2020
Debunked COVID-19 myths survive online, despite facts
Nancy Kass was quoted

Vox | December 15, 2020
How scarce will coronavirus vaccine be in the US?
Ruth Faden was quoted

View more Faculty in the News

Yahoo! News | December 15, 2020
Can the rich and famous skip the line and get vaccinated first?
Ruth Faden was the featured guest

New York Magazine | December 14, 2020
Should Pregnant People Take the Vaccine? FDA and CDC Say That’s Up to Them
Ruth Faden was quoted

NPR | December 11, 2020
Pregnant People Haven’t Been Part of Vaccine Trials. Should They Get the Vaccine?
Ruth Faden was quoted

STAT | December 9, 2020
FDA: Leave the door open to Covid-19 vaccination for pregnant and lactating health workers
Ruth Faden, Carleigh Krubiner and Ruth Karron authored the commentary

New York Times | December 9, 2020
Priorities for a Post-Pandemic World
Ruth Faden was quoted

Foreign Affairs | December 8, 2020
Does the World Need a New Global Health Organization?
Ruth Faden was quoted

NPR Weekend Edition | December 5, 2020
Initial Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine Won’t Include Pregnant People
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2020
Black leaders in Baltimore work to overcome resistance to participating in COVID trials
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Good Morning America | December 3, 2020
COVID-19 vaccines not expected for pregnant people for some time
Ruth Faden was quoted

Vox | December 2, 2020
Who will get the Covid-19 vaccine first? A CDC advisory panel just weighed in
Ruth Faden was quoted

ScienceNews | December 1, 2020
Health care workers and long-term care residents should get COVID-19 vaccines first
Nancy Kass was quoted

The JHU Hub | December 1, 2020
When Will Pregnant Women Benefit from a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Ruth Faden and Carleigh Krubiner were quoted

Miami Herald | November 27, 2020
Should Americans be paid to get COVID-19 vaccine? Idea gains steam among some experts
Nancy Kass was quoted

USA Today | November 23, 2020
Pregnant women haven’t been included in promising COVID-19 vaccine trials
Ruth Faden was quoted

New York Daily News | November 23, 2020
America’s Vaccine Conundrum
Ruth Faden and Nancy Kass co-authored the commentary

Financial TimesNovember 19, 2020
Covid tracing fans public heath vs. privacy debate
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

MSNBC | November 19, 2020
Covid-19 Vaccines and Pregnant Women
Ruth Faden was the featured guest

Associated Press | November 18, 2020
Lung tissue from aborted fetus not used in AstraZeneca vaccine development
Nancy Kass was quoted

Time | November 10, 2020
Why Haven’t Contact Tracing Apps Helped Fight COVID?
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

WBFF-TV | November 10, 2020
Verdict Still Out on COVID-19 Notification App
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Healthline | November 10, 2020
Should the Federal Government Pay People to Get a COVID-19 Vaccination?
Nancy Kass was quoted

VOX | October 30, 2020
Why many Americans refuse to participate in contact tracing
Katelyn Esmonde was quoted

Jacobin | October 29, 2020
Emails Show Trump’s CDC Went MIA in Pennsylvania When COVID-19 Hit
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

WYPR-FM Midday with Tom Hall | October 27, 2020
The Ethics of Trial Drug Use in the Era of COVID-19
Jeffrey Kahn was the featured guest

The New Republic | October 21, 2020
A COVID-19 Vaccine Doesn’t Need to Be Perfect
Ruth Faden was quoted

The Baltimore Sun | October 21, 2020
Kids with certain medical conditions should not attend in-person school while COVID-19 continues to spread
Ruth Faden and Megan Collins co-authored an oped

The New York Times | October 20, 2020
A Viral Theory Cited by Health Officials Draws Fire From Scientists
Ruth Faden was quoted

CBS News | October 20, 2020
Children in remote-learning programs missing out on physical activity
Katelyn Esmonde was interviewed

Globe and Mail | October 18, 2020
Parents cope with slow coronavirus test results, mixed messaging from schools and officials
Megan Collins was interviewed

Inside Higher Education | October 16, 2020
Winter Is Coming
Nancy Kass was quoted

National Geographic | October 14, 2020
Who will get the vaccine first? Here’s where you might land in line
Ruth Faden was quoted

Yahoo News | October 6, 2020
Experts call for including pregnant women in COVID-19 vaccine trials
Ruth Faden and Carleigh Krubiner were quoted

Voice of America | October 5, 2020
U.S. States Roll Out Apps Alerting People to COVID-19 Exposure
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Bloomberg | October 1, 2020
How to Safely Reopen Schools
Megan Collins was interviewed

Bloomberg | September 29, 2020
Rapid Covid Tests for Schools Are Important: Johns Hopkins [Video]
Megan Collins was interviewed | September 24, 2020
Half of COVID Patients Made this One Major Mistake, New Study Says
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

VOX | September 23, 2020
Who Should get the COVID-19 Vaccine First? The Equality vs. Equity Debate, Explained
Ruth Faden was quoted

NPR | September 22, 2020
With Limited COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Who Would Get Them First?
Ruth Faden was quoted

Nature | September 17, 2020
Who Gets a COVID Vaccine First? Access Plans are Taking Shape
Ruth Faden was quoted

American Medical Association | September 17, 2020
Why distributing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine will be a global challenge
Ruth Faden was quoted

National Geographic | September 16, 2020
To find a vaccine for COVID-19, will we have to deliberately infect people?
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Stat | September 11, 2020
The ethics of pausing a vaccine trial in the midst of a pandemic
Ruth Faden was the subject of a Q&A

Slate | September 10, 2020
App-Based Contact Tracing Has Been a Bust. Apple Wants to Try Something New.
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

NPR Marketplace | September 10, 2020
Some of the most vulnerable to COVID say they won’t get a vaccine
Nancy Kass was the featured guest

ABC News | September 9, 2020
Why AstraZeneca pausing its COVID-19 vaccine trial may be good news
Ruth Faden was quoted

NPR Marketplace | September 9, 2020
Who gets first dibs on a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Nancy Kass was the featured guest

JHU Magazine | September 9, 2020
An Epidemic’s Electronic Eyes
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Baltimore SunSeptember 2, 2020
Maryland will soon use cellphones to help with contact tracing for coronavirus
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

New York TimesSeptember 1, 2020
These Scientists Are Giving Themselves D.I.Y. Coronavirus Vaccines
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Washington Post | September 1, 2020
Apple and Google expand coronavirus warning software
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Washington Post | August 18, 2020
Cellphone apps designed to track COVID-19 spread struggle worldwide amid privacy concerns
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

The New York Times | August 17, 2020
How to Protect Children’s Eyes During Remote Learning
Megan Collins was quoted and the eSchools+ Initiative was cited

Vice | August 5, 2020
A DIY Vaccine Can’t Solve the COVID-19 Crisis
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Forbes | August 4, 2020
Using Greek Tragedy to Help Frontline Medical Workers Cope During COVID-19
The Berman Institute’s partnership with Theater of War was profiled

CBC News | August 2, 2020
Some countries may get faster access to a COVID-19 vaccine than others
Ruth Faden was quoted

CBC News | August 1, 2020
When a COVID-19 vaccine arrives, which Canadians will get it first?
Ruth Faden was quoted


Ruth Faden discusses ethical considerations in jumping the vaccine line on NBC's Today show
Carleigh Krubiner appeared on NBC Now to discuss Pfizer's COVID vaccine trial among pregnant women
Hecht-Levi Fellow Rachel Gur Arie talks about different reasons why people might be hesitant to get a vaccine, and the importance of public trust in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Bioethics Conversations: Genomics in the Era of COVID-19: Ethical Considerations featuring Berman Institute faculty Gail Geller and Debra Mathews

Media contact for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics: Jamie Smith at 410-245-1106 or

Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Join us for our #Bioethics Seminar Monday, Oct. 25, Noon EDT, with Myisha Cherry, PhD, MDiv, "Rage Renegades". Open…
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Join us for our #Bioethics Seminar Monday, Oct. 25, Noon EDT, with Myisha Cherry, PhD, MDiv, "Rage Renegades". Open…
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine appears more than 90% effective in kids 5 to 11
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Is the New Aspirin Advice a Medical Flip-Flop, or Just Science? Medical reversals about menopause hormones, knee su…
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Montana Tribes Want to Stop Jailing People for Suicide Attempts but Lack a Safer Alternative via @khnews
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Global #FoodEthics & Policy Program Weekly Roundup - Reverse Thinking, Climate Disasters, Seagrass Grain, Small Fam…