Australian Embassy

Media release - 06 November 2020

Australia announces additional support for COVID-19 vaccine access in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, including Vietnam

The Australian Government is committed to supporting access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for the Pacific and Southeast Asia, as part of a shared recovery for our region from the pandemic. 

We are securing access to COVID-19 vaccines for Australia, the Pacific and Southeast Asia through a range of advance purchase agreements with manufacturers and through participation in the multilateral COVAX Facility. Australia is pleased to include Vietnam in this initiative, which builds on its highly successful efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19 and pivotal role in spearheading ASEAN’s response to the pandemic.

Through a regional vaccine access and health security initiative, the Australian Government will provide a range of support including supplying safe and effective vaccine doses and delivering technical support to our regional partners. Australia will assist with assessment of vaccine safety, efficacy and quality by national regulatory authorities, informed by WHO advice.

We are committing an additional AUD500 million over three years towards this effort on top of the AUD23.2 million committed already by Australia to this initiative. The funding will make a significant contribution toward meeting the needs of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Ensuring countries in our region can quickly recover from the health and economic impacts of this devastating global pandemic is vital to ensuring our shared economic future in the post-pandemic world.

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.

This initiative is in addition to Australia’s ongoing international development assistance budget.

The funding complements Australia’s support for global efforts to help our region to access vaccines, including through the COVAX Facility and its Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for developing countries. Australia has already committed AUD123.2 million to the COVAX Facility to secure access to vaccines for Australians and help bring down prices for all countries, and has contributed AUD80 million to the Facility’s AMC for the benefit of high-risk populations in developing countries.