Felicitas Holzer, Florencia Luna, Tania Manríquez Roa and Nikola Biller-Andorno published ‘A matter of priority: equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines’ in the Swiss Medical Weekly.
Over the past months, several effective COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in different countries around the world. However, the impossibility of having enough vaccines for everyone in the near future has opened the floor for a debate about the priority of values and ethical principles that should guide vaccine allocation. There are, most notably, two main opposing ideas, with several views in between. Some argue that vaccines should be allocated equitably at the global level, and others claim that it is right and proper for governments to prioritise populations at the national level. What we currently see is that some high-income countries (HICs) have launched massive COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, whereas many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) will have to wait considerably before immunisation can be started because of limited access to vaccines. Defining who should have access to vaccines first and why is a complex, important and pressing task. We need to publicly debate what we mean by “equitable access” to COVID-19 vaccines, whether the prioritisation of individuals should take place at a global level or be decided by countries, and what allocation criteria and mechanisms should look like.
We invite you to join the 'Forum for Global Health Ethics: Equitable Access to Covid-19 Vaccines', that will take place on March 29, 2021, from 2:30pm to 4pm CET / 8:30am to 10am ET.
Click here to join the event, password 621417. No registration needed.