HCMC – The Australian Government has pledged a contribution of AUD$80 million to offer the Pacific and Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, easier access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines.
The Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release issued on August 26 that the country will support the Gavi COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) to offer the Pacific and Southeast Asian countries improved access to safe, effective and affordable vaccines against the novel coronavirus.
The COVAX AMC will secure and distribute Covid-19 vaccines to all countries and not just those that can afford to purchase or manufacture the vaccines themselves.
The AMC will address the acute phase of the pandemic, providing doses for up to 20% of the population across various countries in its first phase, ensuring that health care workers and vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, have access.
The Southeast Asian nations eligible for the COVAX AMC support are Vietnam, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines. The eligible Pacific countries comprise Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati.
The ministry added that the access to vaccines will play a crucial role in the economic recovery of the region from this health crisis.
Further, Australia will continue to promote health security in the region through its role as the Vice-Chair of the Gavi Board.
International investment in vaccine manufacturing and procurement is stronger when nations work together. In making this investment, Australia joins key donors such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy and Norway.
The COVAX AMC forms part of the wider COVAX Facility, a global mechanism designed to enable rapid, fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines to bring the acute phase of the pandemic to an end by 2021.