The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been marred by a widespread failure to embed ethics in policymaking. The consequences have included vaccine hoarding by rich countries and the deaths of millions of people around the world. Governments have followed a simplistic narrative of science and finance teaming up against a virus and delivering a silver bullet in the form of a new vaccine, rather than recognizing that a health emergency reflects patterns of inequality within and across countries and other social factors that need to be addressed. Given the interconnection and interdependency of globalization, ethics must be incorporated in global health policy as a primary consideration, not an afterthought.

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