Symposium and seminar series: “Vaccine allocation and social justice”

April 29, 2024


When a viable vaccine for Covid-19 started becoming a reality, the ISPH, in collaboration with Ariadne Labs, Boston College, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, MIT, O’Neil Institute/Georgetown, The University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, hosted an event on vaccine allocation and social justice. This 4-part symposium and seminar series took place on December 4 and 9, 2020.

The event tackled the challenges of an equitable vaccine distribution, recognising the need to rectify the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on disadvantaged populations. It also addressed the logistic complexities of vaccination campaigns, focusing on the importance of accommodating the needs of vulnerable communities that have long been subjected to systemic injustices.

Webinar title

Session Topics

Below is a list of session topics included in the webinar.


Evolving Equitable Strategies

The first session offered an overview of practical, legal, and ethical ways of using reserve systems to allocate vaccines equitably.


Confronting Challenges

The second session addressed the myriad challenges associated with the distribution and uptake of vaccines.


Turning Theory into Practice

The third session took a deeper dive into the practical realities of implementing equitable reserve systems in the real world.


Broader Perspectives

The final session examined the broader context of social justice and domestic vaccine allocation.


Each session invited participants from various professional backgrounds — policy makers, public health workers, community leaders, researchers, and reporters—to engage with leading experts and explore actionable steps towards achieving equitable vaccine allocation.

A special emphasis was placed on prioritising the needs of vulnerable groups, often subjected to structural racism and systemic injustice. The agenda, readings, and other resources are available here.