The Procurement of a COVID-19 Vaccine in Developing Countries: Lessons from the 2009-H1N1 Pandemic
Public Procurement in (A) Crisis: Global Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, Forthcoming
Posted: 29 Oct 2020
Date Written: October 26, 2020
A vaccine is key to the COVID-19 global response strategy. However, it is not yet clear how any COVID-19 vaccine will or ought to be distributed, despite the significant issues of fairness, equity, and justice this raises. The 2009-H1N1 pandemic demonstrated that without a robust mechanism at the international level to ensure fair allocation, developing countries will either not receive the vaccine at all, or receive it significantly later than developed countries. Using procurement of vaccines during 2009-H1N1 as a case study, this chapter explores how developing states may procure a COVID-19 vaccine, if one is developed. It considers both direct procurement of vaccines by developing countries, and procurement by international organizations on behalf of developing states. The chapter outlines some of the unique challenges associated with manufacturing and procuring vaccine, and argues that without strong and meaningful commitments from developed countries to donate vaccine to their developing neighbours, then developing countries are likely to be unable to procure this vital medical resource. Drawing on procurement of vaccine during 2009-H1N1 pandemic this chapter argues that developed states with the capacity to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine are likely to utilise compulsory requisition and other regulatory measures such as government indemnification of vaccine manufacturers for failure to meet contractual obligations, export control measures, and other parallel regulatory measures in order to delay or prevent the export of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation