Caroline Glaser on COVID-19 Vaccine Access
I am currently a Sophomore at Santa Clara University studying economics in the Leavey School of Business. I joined the MSBHER because I have always been extremely fascinated by the intersection of business and ethics. I deeply value being able to continue to develop my understanding of business ethics through examining current issues.
Thus far in my research I have primarily been compiling information about the distribution of the various COVID-19 vaccines. Most recently, I have been examining the safety and efficacy of the different vaccines compared to which countries are using those vaccines. This research has helped demonstrate the reality of how overlooked the global south has been in the efforts to end this pandemic. I have been researching the impact that the lack of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is having and will continue to have on the global south. I find this issue extremely interesting as it provides me with a real-life example of the conflicts which can occur between a company’s desire for profit and their corporate social responsibility.
Additionally, examining the issue of vaccine distribution through the lens of economics has demonstrated the inequities that demand driven global markets exacerbate when lives are on the line. Because of wealthy countries hoarding vaccine supply, effective vaccines are scarce for those who are most vulnerable in the global south. The most significant thing this research has taught me is how much the global south is often ignored and overlooked by the global north. In the instance of COVID-19 vaccines, even when the ethics are so clear and the plan to help the global south would cost wealthy countries very little, there is still little action being taken. Overall, this research has helped me gain a better understanding of the complex relationships between global economics and human rights. I plan to continue researching this issue as the situation continues to develop.