Burnet Institute warmly welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement of $500m over three years to assist in the safe and effective rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine in the Pacific and South East Asia.
Access to COVID-19 vaccines will be secured for Australia, the Pacific and Southeast Asia through a range of advance purchase agreements with manufacturers and through participation in the multilateral COVAX Facility.
“We are committing an additional $500 million over three years towards this effort on top of the $23.2 million committed in the Budget,” Foreign Minister, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Health Minister the Hon Greg Hunt MP, and Minister for International Development, the Hon Alex Hawke MP said in a joint statement.
“The funding will further help to ensure that the countries of the Pacific and Timor-Leste are able to achieve full immunisation coverage and will make a significant contribution toward meeting the needs of Southeast Asia.”
Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC congratulated the Government for its support for the region and commitment to ending the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Supporting COVID vaccines for Papua New Guinea and south east Asia is what good neighbours do,” Professor Crabb said.
“It provides a huge step up in the campaign to defeat COVID – in the region AND here at home – and it will help improve health more generally through systems and logistical support in places where health service delivery is fragile.
“It is fundamentally a wise investment by the Australian government on behalf of the Australian people.
“A COVID-free, healthier, more prosperous and more stable region means a healthier, wealthier and more secure Australia.”