Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisor, wants the U.S. to distribute a COVID-19 vaccination globally before it’s available to all Americans.
Emanuel co-authored a paper in September where he supports following the “Fair Priority Model,” rather than what he and his co-authors called “vaccine nationalism.”
The Fair Priority Model focuses on three principles: benefiting people and limiting harm, prioritizing countries already disadvantaged by poverty or low life expectancy and avoiding discrimination.
The vaccine will be distributed internationally, which means giving away or selling doses of the vaccine before it’s available to every citizen in that country, Emanuel explained to Scientific American.
“Fairly distributing a COVID-19 vaccine among countries is a problem of distributive justice,” states the report co-authored by Emanuel. “Although governments will be the initial recipients of vaccine, fair distribution across countries must reflect a moral concern for the ultimate recipients: individuals. Three values are particularly relevant: benefiting people and limiting harm, prioritizing the disadvantaged, and equal moral concern.”
The model allows the country that produces the vaccine to keep enough of a supply to reach a threshold for herd immunity. After that, the vaccine will be distributed internationally, which means giving away or selling doses of the vaccine before it’s available to every citizen in that country, Emanuel explained to Scientific American.
A government may give ‘some priority to its own citizens, not absolute priority,’ Emanuel and his co-authors wrote.
The Trump Administration had said that the U.S. will share any Coronavirus vaccine it develops with other countries after the needs of the American people are met and that the U.S. will not work with the World Health Organization (WHO) on distribution of the vaccine.