Australia will commit at least 20-million vaccine doses to a global G7 push to boost access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines, as well as 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 yesterday (Friday).
“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.
More vaccinations mean more ways to stop the spread
“The more people we can safely vaccinate around the world, the more we stop the spread and devastation of this disease.”
These doses will build on Australia’s existing 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.
The country is currently involved in a $523-million, three-year Vaccine Access and Health Security project in the Asia-Pacific. This includes a partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) to procure vaccines for up to 15-million people in the region by mid-2022.
World must be better prepared for future outbreaks – PM
“In Cornwall (the UK venue for the latest G7 meeting), 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.”
The Australian Government has entered into five separate agreements to secure more than 195-million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.