An advisor to Joe Biden is suggesting the U.S. should distribute a COVID vaccine globally before it is available to all Americans.
The recommendation was made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel in a paper the oncologist co-authored in September, but the issue has become more eye-opening after the election and after Pfizer announced promising news about a 90-percent effective vaccine.
Emanuel described his Fair Priority Model to Scientific American in an article that can be read here.
"There’s a good ethical reason not to have absolute vaccine nationalism," he told the publication. "And many governments are arguing for fair and equitable distribution of vaccines."
Merrill Matthews of the Institute for Policy Innovation tells OneNewsNow he was not surprised by the opinion.
"It's sort of the ethical model from some medical ethicists have been we don't keep all the vaccine for ourselves," Matthews explains.
In August, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the United States would share any coronavirus vaccine it develops with other countries after American needs are met.
However, Matthews was surprised by Dr. Emanuel's argument because there are now numerous vaccines, not just one.
“There are six that have already been approved for early or limited use,” he advises. “There's 11 in phase three, 14 in phase two, and 38 in the initial phase one."
Regarding the progress at Pfizer, Matthews says the corporation is a U.S.-based company in which the federal government is expected to pay for the vaccine.
“AstraZeneca is based in Europe,” the IPI scholar points out, “and it's made an agreement there with Europe to provide 500 million, I think, doses there."
China and Russia are working on vaccines, too, and Matthews predicts China will want to share its vaccine with other countries to be seen as a helper.
"COVAX, a committee at World Health Organization is working to try to ensure that the vaccine is distributed fairly internationally especially to low income people,” Matthews says. “And what I suspect is all of these countries and companies that are making this will provide a certain number of doses to the World Health Organization and let them do the distribution the way they see fit."