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More to the point, who has the intellectual capacity and biomedical expertise to create an ethical framework for sorting out the volatile mix of social, political and legal factors that will determine the fate of such a global enterprise?

Enter the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Joining forces with Pennís Center for Bioethics and partnering with the University of Tokyo School of Medicine and Columbia Universityís Mailman School of Public Health, Penn Law has taken the lead in launching an unprecedented international dialogue to explore the complex ethical and legal issues, as well as the strengths and vulnerabilities, of the welter of national and international vaccination policies and programs. The groupís goal is to produce white papers, peer review articles, and collaborative efforts that lay the groundwork for cooperation and coordination among the national and international agencies responsible for vaccine policy.

The vaccine project evolved out of a series of conversations between Penn Law Professor Eric Feldman and Arthur Caplan, professor and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics at Penn. Caplan said he first started focusing on the ethical dimensions of vaccines during the flu vaccine shortage of 2004.

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