End COVID For All has commended the Australian Government’s pledge of an additional $50 million to the international vaccine effort, COVAX, while calling on the Government to consider further efforts to fight the pandemic in poor countries.
The new commitment adds to the $80 million Australia committed to COVAX last year, taking the total to $130 million, roughly $5.40 per Australian. Australia has also committed $623 million to regional vaccination efforts in East Timor, the Pacific and South East Asia.
“The Australian Government deserves recognition for its contribution to COVAX,” said Reverend Tim Costello.
“When paired with the work Australia is supporting across the region, we are making a substantial contribution to protect people in poor countries from the horror of the pandemic.
“However, we must not lose sight of the power of global co-operation. Multilateral efforts like COVAX are the world’s best chance to lower the burden of disease in a fair, rational and orderly way. This wily, destructive pathogen mutates and spreads extremely quickly. With greater resources we can combat the pandemic faster and more effectively.
“It is a sad reality that high income nations are being vaccinated 30 times faster than low income nations. More than 75 percent of all vaccines have been administered in just 10 countries. Meanwhile the world’s poorest countries have received less than 1 percent of vaccines administered so far.
“While today’s announcement is welcome, Australia can and should do more, both to vaccinate people in poorer countries but also to help them rebuild.”