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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

New Publication: «Expert Views on COVAX and Equitable Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines»

Tania Manríquez Roa, Felicitas Holzer, Florencia Luna and Nikola Biller-Andorno  published «Expert Views on COVAX and Equitable Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines» in the International Journal of Public Health.

Objectives: We face the impossibility of having enough COVID-19 vaccines for everyone in the near future. This study aims to contribute to the debate on equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, tackling key ethical discussions and policy challenges regarding early phases of COVAX, the global cooperation mechanism for supporting fair vaccine allocation.

Methods: We conducted in-depth interviews with twelve experts and a literature research on academic articles, media sources and public statements. We built a data analysis matrix and conducted a thematic analysis.

Results: Our findings show, first, that interviewed experts who hold different views on vaccine allocation, including moderate nationalist perspectives, agree on joining a global cooperation mechanism. Second, incentives to join COVAX vary greatly among countries. Third, specific barriers to COVAX emerged in the early implementation phase. And fourth, countries might be trapped in a zero-sum game regarding the global vaccine supply.

Conclusion: We present findings that enrich analyses of early phases of COVAX (April 2020–21), we introduce three ethical discussions that provide a common ground for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, and we highlight policy challenges. 

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