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    Despite ongoing calls for a more even global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, there remains a great disparity between high- and low-income countries. We conducted representative surveys among the adult populations in the United States (N = 1,000) and Germany (N = 1,003) in June 2021 to assess public opinion in these countries on the distributive justice of COVID-19 vaccines. We conducted two instances of analytic hierarchy processes (AHP) to elicit how the public weighs different principles and criteria for vaccine allocation. In further discrete choice experiments, respondents were asked to split a limited supply of vaccine doses between a hypothetical high-income and a hypothetical low-income country. AHP weights in the United States and Germany were 37.4% (37.2-37.5) and 49.4% (49.2-49.5) for "medical urgency", 32.7% (32.6-32.8) and 25.4% (25.2-25.5) for "equal access for all", 13.7% (13.6-13.8) and 13.3% (13.2-13.4) for "production contribution", and 16.3% (16.2-16.4) and 12.0% (11.9-12.1) for "free market rules", respectively, with 95% CI shown in parentheses. In the discrete choice experiment, respondents in the United States and Germany split available vaccine doses such that the low-income country, which was three times more populous than the high-income country, on average received 53.9% (95% CI: 52.6-55.1) and 57.5% (95% CI: 56.3-58.7) of available doses, respectively. When faced with a dilemma where a vulnerable family member was waiting for a vaccine, 20.7% (95% CI: 18.2-23.3) of respondents in the United States and 18.2% (95% CI: 15.8-20.6) in Germany reduced the amount they allocated to the low-income country sufficiently to secure a vaccine for their family member. Our results indicate that the public in the United States and Germany favours utilitarian and egalitarian distribution principles of vaccines for COVID-19 over libertarian or meritocratic principles. This implies that political decisions favouring higher levels of redistribution would be supported by public opinion in these two countries. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Matthias Klumpp, Ida G Monfared, Sebastian Vollmer. Public opinion on global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines: Evidence from two nationally representative surveys in Germany and the United States. Vaccine. 2022 Apr 06;40(16):2457-2461

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    PMID: 35305827

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