Australia ensures Fiji can access a future COVID-19 vaccine
June 8, 2020 4:27 pm
Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes. [File Photo]
Australia has ensured Fiji will be able to access a future COVID-19 vaccine at an affordable price.
Given the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic in the region, Australia has pledged $460 million for Gavi to continue its vital work in providing access to vaccines for countries across the Indo-Pacific.
This will be facilitated through the new innovative funding mechanism announced by Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance which was announced last week at the Global Vaccine Summit.
Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes says the investment in Gavi is an investment in the health security of the region, and a critical investment in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it will ensure there is proper planning for manufacturing and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available.
Feakes adds that the Australian government’s support to Gavi will also ensure the Fijian vuvale are not priced out of accessing a future COVID-19 vaccine in what will no doubt be a competitive global market.
Fiji will join our other Pacific neighbours including Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu in being eligible for financing to access a COVID-19 vaccine when developed.
Australian Foreign Minister, Senator Marise Payne, said Australia will continue to work together with its neighbours to respond to the COVID-19 challenge while continuing to manage other preventable diseases through vaccines.
“Immunisation saves lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has served as yet another reminder that investing in vaccine access is critical to regional health security,” Senator Payne said.
Gavi is a public-private partnership that provides access to vaccines for low-income countries and will invest FJD1.8 billion from 2021 to provide access to a range of vaccines for 140 million children in the Indo-Pacific region over the next five years. Australia’s sustained support to Gavi ensures that life-saving vaccines continue to be made accessible to Fiji and the rest of the Indo-Pacific region.