COVID-19 vaccines are one of the most important resources on the planet. Consequently, how these precious resources are used and shared (or not) has the capacity to significantly impact relationships between countries. Indeed, COVID-19 vaccines can and have been used and shared (or not) as a means of building or managing international relations. As a result, some have argued that vaccine production capacity and/or excess vaccine supply can position countries as diplomatic and moral powerhouses. Given commitments and efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines fairly, vaccine diplomacy warrants ethical scrutiny to ensure it helps to further this aim. This seminar will explore the ethics of vaccine diplomacy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chair: Professor Mike Parker, Director of the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities and the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford, UK
Professor Annelien Bredenoord, Head of Ethics of Biomedical Innovation, Department of Medical Humanities, University Medical Center Utrecht & member of the Dutch Senate, The Netherlands
Professor Keymanthri Moodley, Centre for Medical Ethics & Law, Department of Medicine, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Professor Françoise Baylis, NTE Impact Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Canada
The following questions will form the basis of the seminar’s panel discussion. Seminar attendees are invited to submit questions in advance of the seminar when they register or by email, or during the live discussion.
1) Because COVID-19 vaccines have been described as a ‘global public good’, does vaccine diplomacy benefit or harm global health?
2) How can vaccine diplomacy be used or pursued to advance ethical aims like fairness and global justice?
3) How should countries’ responsibilities to vaccinate their own citizens be pursued alongside vaccine diplomacy?