This perspective discusses allocation criteria for an initial shortage of a future SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and necessary measures for global immunity. The criteria presented are built upon the author’s belief that once a vaccine is developed, an initially short supply will meet a huge and desperate worldwide demand.
He argues that a few specific groups of professionals must be preferred as vaccine recipients in the interest of all, namely medical and security personnel immediately involved in the fight against the pandemic. He proposes a general rule that those who are most needed come first, followed by those most in need. Accordingly, he presents the following preference list to guide decisions about who will be the first to receive the vaccine:
Rank 1: Physicians and nurses in immediate patient care, plus police and comparable public security officers in immediate contact with the general public.
Rank 2: Documented recipients of organ transplants under ongoing immunosuppressive medication.
Rank 3: All other persons, ordered by date of birth from old to young, without any exception, and most notably, irrespective of insurance status.
He also discusses the pros and cons of adopting this strict allocation scheme, and suggests enforcing anti-bribery rules and prosecuting illegitimate vaccine sales. After an initial vaccine shortage, he suggests implementing mandatory, free, vaccination programs.