About / Vaccine
WHO Vaccine Equity Project
The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility aims to speed up the development, manufacturing, and distribution of new vaccines but is not the only proposal for ethical allocation on the table. This project considers how we can improve existing proposals for equitable vaccine allocation that have overlooked three crucial equity claims. First, we believe it is imperative to encourage international organizations, such as the WHO to focus on individuals, rather than nations, as the main stakeholders in debates about ethical distribution. Individuals suffer health problems, countries do not. Second, ethical distribution requires focusing on what happens with the vaccines within as well as between countries. We believe that even though distribution should not be conditional on good governance, distributors should work towards creative solutions to reach people everywhere including the most vulnerable and marginalized. Third, while ethical vaccine allocation is paramount, actual vaccine distribution will determine the success of whatever strategy is adopted. Efforts must also be geared towards maximizing vaccine production, distribution, and consumption. In short, we believe ethical vaccine allocation requires combating scarcity and expanding access to new vaccines and overcoming the fundamental barriers to access rather than just shifting resources around.
Nicole Hassoun is a visiting scholar at Cornell University and Professor of Philosophy at Binghamton University. She has published widely on ethical issues in health resource allocation with more than seventy papers in top ethics, economics, and public health journals including the American Philosophical Quarterly, Journal of Development Economics, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, PLoS One and the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. She is well positioned to lead this project as she also heads the Global Health Impact Project, an organization intended to extend access to medicines to the global poor (http://globalhealth.pythonanywhere.com/). Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she has published extensively on the need to ensure equitable access to life saving medicines, and how to ensure the equitable distribution of resources.
Jennifer E. Miller
Jennifer E. Miller, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Yale School of Medicine Dr. Miller's research explores the ethics of healthcare innovation, particularly how drugs are researched, developed, marketed, priced and made accessible to patients domestically and globally. She also works on the ethics of big data in healthcare, including informed consent, data-sharing, and ownership concerns. Dr. Miller founded the nonprofit Bioethics International, an organization that sets standards, ranks, and audits pharmaceutical companies and products on these standards. and Director of the Good Pharma Scorecard initiative, an index that ranks new drugs and pharmaceutical companies on their ethics and patient-centricity performance.
Dr. Anders Herlitz
Dr. Anders Herlitz is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Futures Studies and Associate professor in Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University. Before moving to Stockholm, he was affiliated with Harvard University, and prior to that, held a Marie Curie fellowship at Rutgers University and the University of Gothenburg. Dr. Herlitz's research concerns how to make justified choices when the alternative options are seemingly incomparable, what principles should be applied to evaluate different distributions of goods in diverse populations, and the relationship between principles and justified choice. He has a special interest in these issues in the context of healthcare and distribution of healthcare.
Dr. Zohar Lenderman
Dr. Zohar Lederman is a medical doctor and has received his Ph.D. in Bioethics at the National University of Singapore. Dr. Lederman was previously a visiting scholar at the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. Moreover, he was a collaborator and consultant on a Communicable Diseases Public Health Research Grant (CD-PHRG), entitled: “One Health and Pandemic Planning: Creating a Bioethics Framework in Singapore.
Cited in: “Vaccine Ethics: What Are We Learning from COVID-19?” Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, 3 December, 2020. https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/calendar/data/2020-12-03-vaccine-ethics-covid-19
Cited in: “More Than 46.2 Million Shots Given: Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker The U.S. has administered 15.6 million doses; Europe’s rollout begins.” Bloomberg. 19 January.
“Global Solidarity and Vaccine Allocation” https://www.haaretz.co.il/health/.premium-1.9153855
TALK IS THE BEST MEDICINE SERIES
From November 21st to March 21st, we aim to produce five podcast episodes hosted by Dr. Nicole Hassoun, whose participants will be bioethicists and ethicists including Drs. Anders Herlitz, Zohar Lederman, and Jennifer Miller.
For more information on the talk is the
best medicine series, see: