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How policymakers employ ethical frames to design and introduce new policies: the case of childhood vaccine mandates in Australia

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  • 1 University of Western Australia, Australia
  • | 2 Oakland University, USA
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Australian states exclude unvaccinated children from early education and care via ‘No Jab No Play’ policies, but some offer exemptions for the socially disadvantaged. Such mandatory vaccination policies provoke heated arguments about morality and potential downstream impacts, and the politics of which kinds of people get exempted from mandates are often fraught. Synthesising existing frameworks for considering the role of moral principles and rational-technical justifications in policymaking, we show how the same values can be the focus of both ‘rational-instrumental’ and ‘morality’ frames, while ‘pragmatic’ approaches are crowded out by high epistemic or moral certainty.

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  • 1 University of Western Australia, Australia
  • | 2 Oakland University, USA

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