Fair and equitable access to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines

Policy Briefing

Published 29/05/2020

This rapid policy briefing highlights the key challenges for policy makers, regulatory bodies, industry, and research institutions to ensure fair and equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID vaccine smaller

Webinar - One year on: equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments

This webinar took place on Thursday 20 May 2021, 11.00–12.15 (BST)

It has been one year since we published our briefing note on fair and equitable access to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. A great deal has changed in the year since - we now have several COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out across the world, but issues around equitable access to them remain. Vaccine nationalism, structural and systemic barriers, alongside challenges arising through the interface between private and public interests, are driving the inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world and threaten to prolong the COVID-19 pandemic globally.

On Thursday 20 May from 11:00 – 12:15 BST, we will be hosting a webinar to look back over the past year to see what progress has or has not been made on equitable access, and where we are now in the context of fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The speakers, many of whom presented at our webinar on the same topic last year, are:

  • Dr Ahmed E Ogwell Ouma, Deputy Director, Africa CDC and a global health expert.
  • Achal Prabhala, Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation and Coordinator of the Accessibsa project, which campaigns for access to medicines in India, Brazil, and South Africa.
  • Dr Ellen ‘t Hoen, Director of Medicines Law & Policy, founder of the Medicines Patent Pool, and a lawyer and public health advocate with over 30 years of experience working on pharmaceutical and intellectual property policies.
  • Dr Sheuli Porkess, Chair of Policy & Communications, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, UK and Director, Actaros Consultancy.
  • Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, Chief of Health and Associate Director, Programme Division, at UNICEF.


  • Hugh Whittall, Director, Nuffield Council on Bioethics

We look forward to a discussion capturing a range of international perspectives on equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines from health, research, legal, policy and advocacy experts who have been leading global efforts and responses to COVID-19. We hope to share reflections on learning over the past year and explore challenges that remain for this live and ongoing issue.