PODCAST: City College philosophy professor discusses ethics of vaccination

COVID-19 and vaccinations have driven a wedge between many family members


As the world enters its second COVID-era holiday season, vaccination continues to be a touchy subject with some Americans. Photo by Jakob McWhinney/City Times Media

Jakob McWhinney, Multimedia Journalist

The Listening Machine podcast, produced by Jakob McWhinney, asked San Diegans to talk about their experiences living through the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In the final episode of the first season of The Listening Machine, a frustrated grandmother left a message.

The mother of her granddaughter refuses to allow the child to get vaccinated.

As a cancer survivor – who is more susceptible to COVID-19 – this has meant that the grandmother has had to distance herself from her own granddaughter. 

“I personally think that COVID is here to stay, and I truly believe it is the result of all of the people refusing to get vaccinated,” the grandmother said.

“There’s no arguing with them because somehow they know better than all the experts,” she continued.

Another caller was a man hurt by his twin brother’s refusal to get vaccinated. Watching his brother’s descent into anti-vaccine sentiment left him confused and destabilized.

“How can someone who’s so much like me, who has shared so many of my experiences, end up spouting anti-science conspiracy theories?” the man asked.

“It is just my opinion, but vaccination is a moral obligation,” he said. “And ethically, everyone that is able to must get the vaccine.”

Host McWhinney put those assertions to an ethics expert, San Diego City College professor Soon-Ah Fadness.

In their conversation, the two spoke about the voicemails left by callers, the ethics of vaccination, and how to navigate a holiday season filled with family with whom they may disagree on a number of issues, including vaccinations.

The next season of The Listening Machine will focus on another pandemic wreaking havoc on San Diego … homelessness. Do you live in San Diego and want to talk about your thoughts or experiences? Leave us a message at (619) 736-8976 or visit TheListeningMachine.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Listening Machine and CT Sound are both part of City Times Media, award-winning, student-produced digital news, TV news, magazine, radio/podcast and indie film, all on one platform at San Diego City College. CTM offers hands-on experience for students using new and emerging technologies in state-of-the-art facilities.