Should COVID-19 Vaccines Authorized for Emergency Use Be Considered “Essential” Medicines?

Maxwell J. Smith, Lisa Forman, Michael Parker, Katrina Perehudoff, Belinda Rawson, and Sharifah Sekalala Abstract A critical debate in the race to develop, market, and distribute COVID-19 vaccines could define the future of this pandemic: How much evidence demonstrating a vaccine’s safety and efficacy should be required before it is considered “essential”? If a COVID-19 vaccine were to be designated an essential medicine by the World Health Organization, this would…

Fault Lines of Refugee Exclusion: Statelessness, Gender, and COVID-19 in South Asia

Roshni Chakraborty and Jacqueline Bhabha Abstract Despite widespread recognition of the right to a nationality, statelessness and its attendant vulnerabilities continue to characterize the lives of millions in South Asia. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when states turned inward to protect their own citizens, refugees and de facto stateless persons found themselves excluded from humanitarian services and health care and were denied the ability to claim rights. Stateless…

PERSPECTIVE Safe Abortion in Women’s Hands: Autonomy and a Human Rights Approach to COVID-19 and Beyond

Andrés López Cabello and Ana Cecilia Gaitán Introduction While SARS-CoV-2 containment measures transformed all spheres of social interaction, the COVID-19 pandemic has subjected national health systems to unforeseen strain, leading to their virtual collapse in many countries. The international health crisis has exacerbated social inequalities, with a disproportionate impact on traditionally neglected people; unfortunately, its socioeconomic impacts are likely only to deepen in the future.[1] Sexual and reproductive health and…