The Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Therapeutics and Vaccines

Bottom Line:

Future relief from COVID-19 should be provided in a equitable manner through the collaboration of world powers.


Bollyky, T.J., Gostin, L.O. & Hamburg, M.A. The Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Therapeutics and Vaccines. JAMA (2020). DOI: 10.1001/jama.2020.6641


7 May 2020


Currently, there are several vaccine candidates for COVID-19 in trials and clinical development. If any were to emerge effective, governments should not make the past mistakes of prioritizing their own population. Historically that very mistake from powerful governments have caused many low and middle income countries to receive delayed care. Some countries in the current political climate have turned inwards and abstained from aiding worldwide pandemic efforts. The article aims to convince that equitable distribution of therapeutics and vaccines will be the best solution going forwards, and will require the effort of worldwide committees. It suggests that the WHO will be integral to the coordination of such attempts due to its expertise, credibility, and past experience. The article states that the World Bank will be effective in creating a financing mechanism. To finance such solutions will require both country and philanthropic sources as well as advance purchase commitments for products distributed through the WHO. Transparency throughout the distribution platform will be key to enlisting public support. The success of these measures will heavily depend on the breadth that countries are willing to collaborate and share valuable data surrounding the pandemic.

Summary by: David Liu