A GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR COORDINATED PRODUCTION AND EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF VACCINES
Statement by the Lincei Committee on Covid-19
Some candidate vaccines are at their last phase of validation, and we all hope that they will soon be safely administered to the population. It is also hoped that more than one vaccine will enter the market so that a wider number of doses and a plurality of sources are there to address the extremely high demand. However, many concrete issues as of production, storage, and distribution arise, as well as difficult choices in terms of priorities in administration of the vaccines according to the availabilities, at least at an initial stage. Costs are also an issue when we want to ensure fair access to vaccines. Moreover, until now states that financed specific projects, either individually or jointly, have undertaken individual agreements with producers, so that, in the event that a specific vaccine succeeds, these are recompensated for their support by priority supplies. No coordination exists at the international level if not partially, and even the most widespread cooperation initiatives were unable to attract some of the biggest states. If nothing is urgently done to cope with this anarchical approach, vaccines will be randomly distributed, and only rich (and lucky) countries will be able to obtain the essential vaccines to save lives and build up resilience of communities. Moreover, existing international rules on trade will strongly limit fair access to vaccines, since the current set of rules is not equipped to cope with the very specific circumstances that the pandemic has generated. On the basis of the situation so far and the proposals that have been launched until now by some institutions, in particular the European Commission, the COVID-19 Commission of the Accademia Nazionale di Lincei recommends several building blocks to establish a shared and articulated scheme for cooperation, involving both the public and the private sector in a joint partnership, and prompts Italy to lead this exercise during its presidency of the G-20 in 2021.
20 November 2020
Responsibility for the information and views expressed in this document lies solely with the Covid-19 Committee.