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Keywords:

  • developing world bioethics;
  • international justice;
  • distributive justice;
  • vaccine policy

ABSTRACT

Current strategies to address global inequities in access to life-saving vaccines use averaged national income data to determine eligibility. While largely successful in the lowest income countries, we argue that this approach could lead to significant inefficiencies from the standpoint of justice if applied to middle-income countries, where income inequalities are large and lead to national averages that obscure truly needy populations. Instead, we suggest alternative indicators more sensitive to social justice concerns that merit consideration by policy-makers developing new initiatives to redress health inequities in middle-income countries.