Along with leading scientists, pharmaceutical company executives, and the CEO of the Gavi vaccine alliance, Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Clint Hermes provided insight on the race for a COVID-19 vaccine and the competition among nations to secure their priority access. Following the rapid spread of the pandemic, countries are working not only to be the first to develop a vaccine but also negotiating how to guarantee supplies for their citizens. While countries and non-governmental organizations agree that everyone should have access to a vaccine, in reality, wealthy countries are taking steps to ensure their populations get priority access. Clint commented that “the real challenge with equitable access is how to make it work. Ethicists can sit in a room and decide who gets what in what order, but none of that matters unless there is a financing mechanism.”
“It may not be fair that some countries buy ahead of others, but that is what is likely to happen,” he added.
The full article, “Every Country Wants a COVID-19 Vaccine. Who Will Get it First?,” was published on August 13 by MIT Technology Review and is available online.