Australia Supports Southeast Asian Countries to Access Safe and Effective COVID-19 Vaccines

AKP Phnom Penh, November 02, 2020 —

The Australian Government has announced a new AUD500 million Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative to help countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific to access safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

This initiative will make a significant contribution towards meeting the vaccine needs of Southeast Asia, according to press release from the Australian Embassy in Cambodia.

It will include procurement and delivery of vaccine doses, assessment of vaccine safety and efficacy, and technical support for immunization policy and planning, pointed out the source.

“There is no higher priority for countries in our region than access to COVID-19 vaccines,” said Australia’s Foreign Minister and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne.

“A fast, safe vaccine rollout in the Pacific and Southeast Asia will mean we are able to return to more normal travel, tourism and trade with our key partners in the region,” she said.

H.E. Pablo Kang, Australia’s Ambassador to Cambodia said “this is a very significant announcement that boosts Australia’s already deep engagement in the health sector in Cambodia, and should play a key role in Cambodia’s efforts to secure universal access to WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines.”

The initiative builds on Australia’s AUD80 million commitment to the COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment, which is designed to help developing countries access COVID-19 vaccine doses to meet the needs of their highest risk populations, said the press release.

The support for vaccines is in addition to Australia’s ongoing development assistance for Cambodia’s COVID-19 response and economic recovery, it added, underlining that Australia is committed to supporting Cambodians to have equitable access to safe and affordable vaccine.

By Chea Vannak