While the U.S. has begun to vaccinate millions of Americans each day, COVID-19 vaccine supplies around the world remain scarce. Experts estimate that 80 percent of people in low-resource countries will not receive a vaccine in 2021. At the time of the paper’s writing, the global vaccination rate was 6.7 million doses per day — a rate at which it would take 4.6 years to achieve global herd immunity. In a new Perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine, Katz and colleagues highlight the need to treat essential medical services as public goods, rather than market commodities. To truly protect U.S. residents and their neighbors, they urge the federal government to reinforce global vaccine distribution efforts.