Giving Compass’ Take:
• Here, Ruth Faden, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University, answers questions about the accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.
• As a member of the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Vaccines Working Group, Faden discusses the ethical considerations that countries need to make once they have access to the vaccine. How can donors help ensure or expand accessibility?
With something in the order of 150 COVID-19 vaccine candidates now in different stages of testing and development, a global public health strategy needs to be thinking several steps ahead, beyond the science.
Once a vaccine is proven safe and effective, how will it reach everyone in the world who needs it, and on what kind of timeline?
Ruth Faden, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University, is working to address these high-stakes issues as a member of the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Vaccines Working Group, a team of experts from different countries making recommendations on fair and equitable global access to a coronavirus vaccine.
Faden, founder of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, is focused on the ethical questions of vaccine distribution, a particularly delicate and complex angle.
“There are going to be many complicated issues for us to understand and address,” Faden says. “Hopefully this committee, along with other groups, will contribute to solutions for this massive geopolitical challenge: Ensuring that all people, regardless of where in the world they live, will have the benefit of a COVID-19 vaccine.”
Here, Faden shares insights on what we should expect when a COVID-19 vaccine finally does arrive:
What are some of the biggest ethical issues to consider right now with COVID-19 vaccines?
First we have to look at the global level. The private sector is really driving the vaccine development process, rather than government or academic labs. Major efforts are underway to figure out how private industrial developers can make vaccines available at an affordable price to all countries, particularly low and middle-income countries. It’s a bit like the ventilator supply situation we’ve all faced, but on steroids. Initially there will be scarce supply of the vaccine, governments will be scrambling to procure it, and, unless these efforts work, the winners will be fairly predictable: countries that have the resources.
Read the full article about COVID-19 vaccine accessibility from Johns Hopkins University at Futurity.
Since you are interested in Coronavirus, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Coronavirus?
Looking for a way to get involved?
Learning with others and benchmarking are key steps towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Coronavirus, take a look at these events, galas, conferences and volunteering opportunities to connect with individuals like you.
Are you ready to give?
In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Coronavirus take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.