There are currently a number of potential coronavirus vaccines being researched. But once a successful one has been developed, it is likely to be in short supply. So how do we decide who to allocate the vaccines to, and how to distribute them across countries?
A team of global health experts have proposed a new, three-phase plan for vaccine distribution that aims to mitigate future adverse effects of COVID-19, which they call the ‘Fair Priority Model’.
Phase 1 aims to prevent deaths – especially premature death – and other irreversible health impacts. Phase 2 continues addressing health concerns, but also aims to reduce economic and social impacts, like closures of schools and businesses. Phase 3 aims at lowering community transmission, which will also reduce spread between countries.
At each phase, a certain number of vaccines would be allocated to each country, depending on where it would have the greatest impact. For example, in phase 2, priority would be given to countries where vaccines would reduce more poverty and avert the most lost income per dose.
The researchers argue that the Fair Priority Model is more equal than other current proposals, as it responds more appropriately to the needs of different countries. This is necessary, as equally populous countries are facing dramatically different levels of death and economic devastation from the pandemic.
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