End COVID For All and Pacific Friends of Global Health have commended the Australian Government’s pledge of $85 million and at least 10 million COVID vaccine doses to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC).
At the 2022 Gavi COVAX AMC Summit, held overnight, governments, international organisations, civil society and the private sector came together to commit US$4.8 billion to the global vaccination effort.
End COVID For All spokesperson and Pacific Friends of Global Health Chair Professor Brendan Crabb AC said it’s a crucial milestone in the global effort to vaccinate the Pacific region and the world.
“It is a remarkable achievement by the global community to unite and raise significant funding for COVAX under difficult circumstances,” Professor Crabb said.
“Right now, almost 65 per cent of the global population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and that is largely due to the tireless efforts of Gavi and its partners in securing and delivering vaccines.
“The launch of the Pandemic Vaccine Pool, which will mitigate against supply bottlenecks and meet the emerging needs of countries, is a fantastic initiative that will go a long way towards ending the pandemic.
“However, now is not the time to take the foot off the accelerator. More than 85 per cent of people in low-income countries are yet to receive one dose.
“The situation is not much better when we look to some of our neighbours in the Pacific, many of which are experiencing COVID surges.
“The virus continues to spread across the largely unvaccinated populations of Samoa and Vanuatu.
“Already fragile health systems are being pushed to the brink and we know from experience this has dire consequences for not only those experiencing dangerous COVID symptoms but also those needing treatment for other diseases and health conditions.
“We are grateful for the significant support that has already been delivered directly to our region by the Australian Government. However, we have an obligation to do more to help stem this crisis through financial support and vaccine delivery. We must also address vaccine hesitancy in the Pacific which has complicated immunisation efforts.
“The longer we allow the virus to spread unchecked in unvaccinated countries, the more chance it has of mutating into more transmissible and dangerous forms.”
“In addition to support for vaccine supply and delivery, we are calling on the Australian Government to help plug the ACT-Accelerator funding gap which will strengthen therapeutics, diagnostics, health systems and responses.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Australian Government as we mobilise better health outcomes for Australia and the Pacific.”