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Mason Institute Investigates Episode 1: COVID-19 Vaccination Programmes in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Welcome to the very first episode of the Mason Institute Investigates podcast. Today’s episode focuses on work done by the Public Health Ethics and Law Research Network (Twitter: @PHELN2).  PHELN is an academic collaboration between the University of Edinburgh, University College Cork and Queen’s University Belfast. Their research focuses on examining the relationship between public health, ethics and law, using case studies from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this episode, the Chair of Medical Jurisprudence at Edinburgh Law School and Director of the Mason Institute, Professor Anne-Maree Farrell (Twitter: @amfarrell101), sits down with Professor Mary Donnelly (Twitter: @MaryDonnellyLaw) of the University of College Cork to discuss COVID-19 vaccination programmes in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Professors Donnelly and Farrell explore three key aspects of the COVID-19 vaccination programmes on the island of Ireland: ethical preparedness, choice versus supply and time and temporality. In doing so, they highlight the problems encountered by Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in their efforts to vaccinate the population.

Now if you’ve not done that preparedness before the emergency hits, you’re already at a disadvantage, so the whole idea that you can devise a vaccine priority programme without having done that preparedness work is deeply problematic and produces problems with translating your values into practice.

Professor Anne-Maree Farrell          

Through their examination of this case study, they emphasise the need to develop a nuanced understanding of prior existing social, cultural and geographical issues that can be exacerbated in a public health emergency, and which need to be acknowledged in the formation of any public health policy.

Listen to the podcast episode on Media Hopper.

View the accompanying episode transcript (PDF)

Check out the channel of Mason Institute Investigates for other episodes.

For more information, please see the below links to further resources. Happy listening!

Written by Leyla Noury (Twitter: @dheggacad)

Links and further resources:

Public Health, Ethics and Law Research Network (PHELN) | Edinburgh Law School

Dr Mary-Elizabeth Tumelty (twitter: @DrMaryTumelty), School of Law, University College Cork, Ireland

Professor Mary Donnelly (twitter: @MaryDonnellyLaw), School of Law, University College Cork, Ireland

Professor Anne-Maree Farrell (twitter:@amfarrell101), Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinburgh

Dr Clayton Ó Néill (twitter: @ONeillClay) , School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast

Clayton Ó Néill et al., ‘COVID-19 Vaccination In The UK And Ireland: Ethics In Practice’ (2021) Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2021/16

Mary-Elizabeth Tumelty et al., ‘The Management of COVID-19 in Care Homes in Ireland And England: Ethical and Legal Issues in a Time of Pandemic’ (2022) Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2022/11

Mary-Elizabeth Tumelty et al. ‘COVID-19 Vaccination, Preparedness, and the Case for Vaccine Injury RedressMason Institute, 20th December 2021

Mary-Elizabeth Tumelty et al., ‘COVID-19 Vaccination and Legal Preparedness: Lessons from Ireland’ (2022) European Journal of Health Law, 29(2), 240-259


‘Mason Institute Investigates’ is produced and edited by the Mason Institute and made with funding from the Edinburgh Law School.

The intro song is ‘Secret to Success’ by Scott Holmes Music

The outro song is ‘Inspirational Outlook’ by Scott Holmes Music

Both are available under Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons Licence from Free Music Archive

Image by Spencer Davis from Pixabay

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