“Pacific countries eligible for COVAX AMC support include Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati.”
27 AUGUST 2020: Samoa is among 8 Pacific Island countries Australia will support to improve access for Pacific and Southeast Asian countries to safe, effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines.
This will be through Gavi COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) to secure and distribute COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, not just those that can afford to purchase or manufacture vaccines themselves.
Australia’s contribution of $80 million will help secure COVID-19 vaccines for Pacific Island and Southeast Asian countries. The AMC will address the acute phase of the pandemic, providing doses for up to 20 percent of countries’ populations in its first phase, ensuring that health care workers and vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, have access.
Access to vaccines will play a critical role in the economic recovery of the region from this pandemic.
Pacific countries eligible for COVAX AMC support include Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati. Eligible countries from Southeast Asia are Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, The Philippines and Vietnam.
The Australian Governments assistance was announced in a joint media statement by the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women; Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health; and Hon Alex Hawke MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Assistant Defence Minister.
“Australia’s investment builds on our strong support for Gavi. Australia will continue to promote health security in our region through our role as the Vice-Chair of the Gavi Board,” the statement said.
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 end the acute phase of the pandemic by 2021.