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COVID-19 vaccine rollout—scale and speed carry different implications for corruption

Rajeev Goel, Michael Nelson and Viraat Y. Goel

Journal of Policy Modeling, 2021, vol. 43, issue 3, 503-520

Abstract: The sanctioning of different coronavirus vaccines (with some approved by regulators for public delivery, and others in the pipeline) has met with relief by many sections of the public and the government. However, partly due to the damages associated with the pandemic and the ensuing euphoria over vaccines’ arrival, some of the challenges are mostly being ignored or are not recognized. This paper identifies some pitfalls and drawbacks in vaccine delivery. We argue that the somewhat unique tension between the speed of vaccine delivery and its scale can create opportunities for corrupt behavior that are often at odds with effective means to check abuse. While data on instances of abuse will emerge over time, it is useful to point out different avenues of abuse so that some preventive government actions can be undertaken. Specifically, we argue that the potential for out of turn delivery of vaccines and the stockpiling by unauthorized agents creates incentives for corruption, with the public or bureaucrats initiating corrupt transactions. An understanding of the potential avenues for corruption should guide the formulation of appropriate corruption-control policies and similar challenges that will be faced by policy makers in addressing future pandemics.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Vaccine; Corruption; Innovation; Dissemination; Rent-seeking; Institutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D11 I18 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2021.04.003

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:43:y:2021:i:3:p:503-520