Title

An Ethical Framework for Global Vaccine Allocation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2020

Keywords

Fair allocation, Vaccine distribution, Vaccine nationalism, Fair Priority Model

Organizational Units

Sturm College of Law

Abstract

Once effective coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines are developed, they will be scarce. This presents the question of how to distribute them fairly across countries. Vaccine allocation among countries raises complex and controversial issues involving public opinion, diplomacy, economics, public health, and other considerations. Nevertheless, many national leaders, international organizations, and vaccine producers recognize that one central factor in this decision-making is ethics. Yet little progress has been made toward delineating what constitutes fair international distribution of vaccine. Many have endorsed “equitable distribution of COVID-19…vaccine” without describing a framework or recommendations. Two substantive proposals for the international allocation of a COVID-19 vaccine have been advanced, but are seriously flawed. We offer a more ethically defensible and practical proposal for the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccine: the Fair Priority Model.



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