Vaccine apartheid is creating conditions that make for premature death, poverty, and disease in racialized ways. Invoking vaccine apartheid as opposed to euphemisms like vaccine nationalism, is necessary to highlight the racialized distributional consequences of vaccine inequities witnessed with COVID-19. This commentary clarifies the concept of vaccine apartheid against the historical and legal usage of apartheid. It reflects on the connections and important disjunctions between the two. It places the intellectual property regime under heightened scrutiny for reform and transformation. This commentary finds that drawing on the intersections between a human rights and health justice approach can provide creative and novel approaches for anti-subordination. It concludes that acknowledging and naming the structural injustice of vaccine apartheid is only the first step towards providing redress.