The urgent drive for vaccine development in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic has prompted public and private organisations to invest heavily in research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Organisations globally have affirmed the commitment of fair global access, but the means by which a successful vaccine can be mass produced and equitably distributed remains notably unanswered. Barriers for low-income countries include the inability to afford vaccines as well as inadequate resources to vaccinate, barriers that are exacerbated during a pandemic. Fair distribution of a pandemic vaccine is unlikely without a solid ethical framework for allocation. This piece analyses four allocation paradigms: ability to develop or purchase; reciprocity; ability to implement; and distributive justice, and synthesises their ethical considerations to develop an allocation model to fit the COVID-19 pandemic.
- distributive justice
- clinical ethics
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Correction notice This paper has been updated since first published to amend name of
'Brian C. Drolet'.
Contributors YL and SS contributed to research, analysis and writing of the manuscript. BD contributed to analysis, writing and critical review of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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