Australia will commit at least 20 million vaccine doses to a global G7 push to boost access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and pandemic preparedness in developing countries.
“I am pleased to be able to join my counterparts in the G7 and beyond to commit more vaccines for people in developing countries in our region,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. “COVID does not respect borders and the pandemic is not a problem confined to any one nation. That’s why we will commit to distributing at least an additional 20 million vaccine doses across our region. The more people we can safely vaccinate around the world, the more we stop the spread and devastation of this disease.”
These 20 million doses will build on Australia’s existing significant financial and technical support for the Pacific and Southeast Asia, and on the almost 300,000 vaccine doses already provided to the Pacific and Timor-Leste.
“We are delivering a $523 million, three-year Vaccine Access and Health Security initiative, which provides end-to-end support for vaccine roll-outs in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. This includes an Australian partnership with UNICEF to procure vaccines for up to 15 million people in our region, also by mid-2022. And we have also committed $100 million to the Quad Vaccine Partnership, which will support the production and distribution of one billion doses to the Indo-Pacific by the end of 2022,” the Prime Minister said.
In addition, Australia’s $130 million contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) for developing countries will also assist the COVAX AMC to deliver more than 1.8 billion doses worldwide, reaching at least 114 million people in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
The Minister for Health and Aged Care and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Women have been working with their G7 counterparts to progress this and other key health issues. “In Cornwall, I will also raise with G7 leaders how we can work together to learn lessons from this pandemic and make sure the world is better prepared to combat future outbreaks,” the Prime Minister said.
“Australia welcomes the opportunity to contribute our scientific and medical expertise to G7 discussions on how we improve surveillance and early warning systems to stop outbreaks at their source, and to strengthen rapid response capabilities and disease defences to ensure we can move quickly and decisively in the event of future pandemics.”
At least 20 million new COVID-19 vaccine doses will be provided by mid-2022. They will be a mix of vaccines that have been already contracted by the Australian Government, including AstraZenca, Pfizer and Moderna. The Australian Government has entered into 5 separate agreements to secure more than 195 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.