Researchers suggest 3 ways to ensure effective distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 01, 2021

Researchers at Binghamton University suggest three ways that can ensure effective and fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

One of the authors, Professor Nicole Hossoun said in a statement: “Although many people in rich countries will receive a vaccine for Covid-19 this year, many people in poor countries will likely have to wait years to get one.”

Hossoun added: “Ethical vaccine allocation requires closing this gap and ensuring that everyone can access a vaccine as soon as possible. We should increase vaccine manufacturing, distribution, and uptake. Rich countries should not get to prioritise their populations first.”

According to the researchers, all the methods, so far, fall short in ensuring equal allocation of coronavirus vaccines. Hence, they suggested some methods that can improve vaccine distribution. These include:

No discrimination on basis of location

According to the authors, there should be no discrimination based on location. A fair proposal cannot allow rich countries to hoard vaccines or prioritise their own populations first. Nor can it give individuals less priority simply because they live in a country with less infrastructure, capacity, or willingness to distribute vaccines.

Allocation principles

Allocation principles must explicitly focus on both direct and indirect health effects of Covid-19. Direct health effects include death and disability caused (in full or in part) by the virus. Indirect health effects include death and disability caused (in full or in part) by the social response to the virus.

Strategising distribution

Having the greatest global health impact requires assisting countries in their vaccine distribution, production, and consumption. A fair allocation system must consider how vaccine distribution will determine the success of whatever strategy is adopted, the study noted.

“Many proposals for equitable allocation let rich countries prioritise their populations. We must combat this scarcity mindset and expand access rather than just shift resources around,” said Hassoun.

The paper, “Just Allocation of Covid-19 Vaccines,” was published in BMJ Global Health.

Published on March 01, 2021

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