If and when a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available, what is the fairest way to distribute it? In a policy report published on Thursday in Science, 19 public health experts laid out an ethical framework called the Fair Priority Model. It is geared toward three principles: benefiting people and limiting harm, prioritizing countries already disadvantaged by poverty or low life expectancy, and avoiding discrimination.
The report is critical of previously suggested vaccine allocation plans, including two proposed by the World Health Organization: one of them would distribute vaccines to each country according to its population size, and the other would prioritize health care workers and adults who are above age 65 or have underlying health conditions. Some national distribution proposals, such as