Jo Wolff co-authors paper on ethical distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

Jonathan Wolff, Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School, is among the authors of a paper on ethical vaccine allocation published in Science.

In the paper, 'An ethical framework for global vaccine allocation', lead author Ezekiel Emanuel and other leading health experts and ethicists outline a proposal for the Fair Priority Model: a new, three-phase plan for vaccine distribution for COVID-19.

The World Health Organization has advocated distributing a vaccine proportional to a country's population, however the authors also argue this might not be the right approach and more research is needed. They emphasise three fundamental values they believe should be considered when distributing a COVID-19 vaccine among countries: i) benefiting people and limiting harm, ii) prioritising the disadvantaged, and iii) giving equal moral concern for all individuals. The Fair Priority Model addresses these values by focusing on mitigating three types of harms caused by COVID-19: death and permanent organ damage, indirect health consequences, such as health care system strain and stress, as well as economic destruction.

The authors say it will be up to political leaders, the WHO, and manufacturers to implement this model and also discuss 'vaccine nationalism'.