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Commentary

COVID-19 Pandemic and Equal Access to Vaccines

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Legal Medicine, University of Padua, via G. Falloppio 50, 35121 Padua, Italy
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Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, via Luciano Armanni 5, 80138 Naples, Italy
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Forensic Medicine, Department of Law, “Magna Graecia” University of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
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Department of Health Sciences, Section of Legal and Forensic Medicine, University of Genova, 16132 Genova, Italy
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Department of Health Sciences, Section of History of Medicine and Bioethics, University of Genova, 16132 Genova, Italy
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Department of Medicine and Health Sciences “V. Tiberio,” University of Molise, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: S. Louise Cosby
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060538
Received: 16 April 2021 / Revised: 6 May 2021 / Accepted: 18 May 2021 / Published: 21 May 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced the chronic inequality that exists between populations and communities as regards global healthcare. Vaccination, an appropriate tool for the prevention of infection, should be guaranteed by means of proportionate interventions to defeat such inequality in populations and communities affected by a higher risk of infection. Equitable criteria of justice should be identified and applied with respect to access to vaccination and to the order in which it should be administered. This article analyzes, as regards the worldwide distribution of anti-COVID-19 vaccines, the various ways the principle of equity has been construed and applied or even overlooked. The main obstacle to equal access to vaccines is vaccine nationalism. The perception of equity varies with the differing reference values adopted. Adequate response to needs appears to be the principal rule for achieving the criterion of equity in line with distributive justice. Priorities must be set equitably based on rational parameters in accordance with current needs. The entire process must be governed by transparency, from parameter identification to implementation. The issue of equal access to vaccination affects the entire world population, necessitating specific protective interventions. In light of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has devised the COVAX plan to ensure that even the poorest nations of the world receive the vaccine; certain initiatives are also supported by the European Union (EU). This pandemic has brought to the fore the need to build a culture of equitable relationships both in each country’s own domain and with the rest of the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: vaccination; equity; public health; COVID-19; COVAX vaccination; equity; public health; COVID-19; COVAX
MDPI and ACS Style

Bolcato, M.; Rodriguez, D.; Feola, A.; Di Mizio, G.; Bonsignore, A.; Ciliberti, R.; Tettamanti, C.; Trabucco Aurilio, M.; Aprile, A. COVID-19 Pandemic and Equal Access to Vaccines. Vaccines 2021, 9, 538. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060538

AMA Style

Bolcato M, Rodriguez D, Feola A, Di Mizio G, Bonsignore A, Ciliberti R, Tettamanti C, Trabucco Aurilio M, Aprile A. COVID-19 Pandemic and Equal Access to Vaccines. Vaccines. 2021; 9(6):538. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060538

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bolcato, Matteo, Daniele Rodriguez, Alessandro Feola, Giulio Di Mizio, Alessandro Bonsignore, Rosagemma Ciliberti, Camilla Tettamanti, Marco Trabucco Aurilio, and Anna Aprile. 2021. "COVID-19 Pandemic and Equal Access to Vaccines" Vaccines 9, no. 6: 538. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060538

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