Who will get the Covid-19 vaccine?

Kuratierte Geschichte
Priti Krishtel
This article originally appeared on Medium

Nine months into the pandemic, we have 6.7 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. alone. As conversation swirls about the coming vaccine, we tapped Ashoka Fellow Priti Krishtel for insights.

A social entrepreneur and lawyer, Priti started I-MAK to help make life-saving medicines accessible to all. She does this by advocating for patent system reforms and corporate incentives that drive affordability, and increasing oversight, transparency, and public participation. As she reminds us, U.S. taxpayers fund medical research to the tune of billions and should get a say in how that research is used.

Ashoka’s Manmeet Mehta spoke with Priti this week. Here are a few highlights.

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Ashoka insight

A scarcity mindset harms us all, says Priti. We need to invest in the manufacturing capacity of countries less able to afford vaccines and open up medical knowledge to spur invention and collaboration. Otherwise, billions of people will be at the mercy of high-income countries and their priorities.

Structural racism is baked into the medicines system, says Priti. It affects what diseases are prioritized for research, how clinical trials are conducted, and much more. Trust with Black and brown communities must be earned, and public health prioritized over profits.

This won’t be our last pandemic. What if we see the Covid vaccine not as a “one stop solution” but an opportunity to fix historic failures in medicines access — and imagine a better way forward.