Ethical and Practical Considerations for an Agreement to Ensure Equitable Vaccine Access; Comment on “More Pain, More Gain! The Delivery of COVID-19 Vaccines and the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Role in Widening the Access Gap”

Document Type : Commentary

Author

Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, Mexico

Abstract

This paper discusses the potential of an international agreement to ensure equitable vaccine distribution, addressing the failures witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVAX was unable to prevent vaccine monopolization and unequal distribution, which led to significant disparities in vaccination rates and avoidable deaths. Any future agreement on equitable vaccine distribution must address ethical and practical issues to ensure global health equity and access. The proposed agreement should recognize healthcare as a human right and consider vaccines beyond mere commodities, emphasizing the social responsibility of pharmaceutical companies to prioritize affordability, availability, and accessibility, particularly for low-income countries (LICs). Voluntary licensing agreements are suggested as a means to enhance access to essential medicines. The paper also outlines the necessity of international cooperation, with robust compliance mechanisms, to effectively enforce such an agreement and mitigate future health crises. 

Keywords


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Articles in Press, Corrected Proof
Available Online from 28 April 2024
  • Receive Date: 01 April 2024
  • Revise Date: 23 April 2024
  • Accept Date: 27 April 2024
  • First Publish Date: 28 April 2024