The Role of International Law in Vaccinating Against COVID-19: Appraising the COVAX Initiative

28 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020 Last revised: 14 Jul 2021

See all articles by Armin von Bogdandy

Armin von Bogdandy

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Pedro Villarreal

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Date Written: November 19, 2020

Abstract

Finally, there are approved vaccines against COVID-19, but they will be certainly scarce at first. As a result, vaccine nationalism is rampant. However, for considerations of self-interest, solidarity as well as of international law, national governments should also cater for the health of other countries’ populations. This article presents the main legal instruments of vaccine nationalism as well as the COVAX Initiative as an alternative for a fairer global distribution of the life-saving medicine. An analysis of the international right to health shows the normative underpinnings of COVAX and the promise it holds for sustainable solidarity.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine, WHO, Gavi, COVAX, vaccine nationalism, international right to health, sustainable solidarity

Suggested Citation

von Bogdandy, Armin and Villarreal, Pedro, The Role of International Law in Vaccinating Against COVID-19: Appraising the COVAX Initiative (November 19, 2020). Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2020-46, 81 Heidelberg Journal of International Law (2021) 89-116, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3733454 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3733454

Armin Von Bogdandy (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law ( email )

Im Neuenheimer Feld 535
69120 Heidelberg, 69120
Germany

Pedro Villarreal

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law ( email )

Im Neuenheimer Feld 535
69120 Heidelberg, 69120
Germany

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