Should Vaccine Companies Be Nationalistic?

Should companies developing Covid-19 vaccines be nationalistic? Nationalism — roughly, showing devotion to your own nation — is a funny thing, ethically. On one had, it’s a standard ethical principle that “all people matter equally.” But in practice few people object to individuals showing special devotion to their family, their neighbours, their city (“Go, local sports team!”), or to their country. It’s natural and probably good to feel pride in the accomplishments of your country, and to want to protect your own country’s interests. But, again, “all people are equal.”

The story below says relatively little about the corporations developing Covid-19 vaccines. But it does mention Moderna, a Boston-based company. Moderna is an American company — not a multinational, so it presents a relatively easy case. Should Moderna, if asked, sell any eventual vaccine first and foremost to Americans? Does being an “American” company matter? Its CEO (Stephane Bancel), on the other hand, is French, and one of the company’s founders (DerrickRossi) is Canadian. To whom, if anyone, should they and the company demonstrate allegiance?

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LINK: Why vaccine nationalism could prolong the COVID-19 pandemic (from CBC News)

The race to secure a vaccine against COVID-19 has pitted country against country, which could undermine efforts to control the virus worldwide.

While the World Health Organization is calling for those at highest risk of getting and spreading the virus to receive a vaccine first, rich countries are making deals to stockpile their own supplies — even before safe and effective vaccines exist — and that comes with risks.

This kind of vaccine nationalism means every country fends for itself, with wealthier nations buying up supplies of vaccines and leaving little for other nations…..

What do you think?


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