A vaccine tax: ensuring a more equitable global vaccine distribution

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While COVID-19 vaccines provide light at the end of the
tunnel in a difficult time, they also bring forth the complex
ethical issue of global vaccine distribution. The current
unequal global distribution of vaccines is unjust towards
the vulnerable living in low-income countries. A vaccine tax
should be introduced to remedy this. Under such a scheme,
a small fraction of the money spent by a country on vaccines
for its own population would go into a fund, such as
COVAX, dedicated to buying vaccines and distributing them
to the world’s poorest. A vaccine tax would provide a muchneeded injection of funds to remedy the unequal distribution
of vaccines. The tax allows for a distribution that, to a
lesser degree, reflects the ability to pay and is superior to a
donation-based model because it minimises the opportunity
for free-riding.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107418
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Pages (from-to)658-661
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Pandemic Response
  • covid-19
  • distributive justice
  • global justice
  • vaccine allocation
  • vaccine distribution


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