The Role of International Law in Vaccinating Against COVID-19: Appraising the COVAX Initiative
81 Heidelberg Journal of International Law (2021) 89-116
28 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020 Last revised: 7 Mar 2022
Date Written: November 19, 2020
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
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