Through sustained advocacy, Australia has ensured Fiji will be able to access a future COVID-19 vaccine through a new innovative funding mechanism announced by Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, at the recent Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June 2020.

Given
the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on our region, Australia has pledged
FJD460million (AUD300 million) for Gavi to continue its vital work in providing
access to vaccines for countries across the Indo-Pacific.

Australia’s
investment in Gavi is an investment in the health security of our region, and a
critical investment in our 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.

“Our support to
Gavi will also ensure our Fijian vuvale are not priced out of accessing a
future COVID-19 vaccine in what will no doubt be a competitive global market,”
said Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes.

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 the
Hon. 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.

Australian Minister for International
Development and the Pacific, the Hon. Alex Hawke MP, said Australia was pleased
to renew its commitment to Gavi.

“Our mission is to see that all children,
regardless of where they live, have access to life saving vaccines. I am
particularly pleased that for our Pacific family and Timor-Leste, the Alliance
has enabled more than 1.5 million children to be vaccinated,” Minister Hawke
said.

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