Australia joins global partnership to ensure vaccine

Australia has entered the worldwide COVAX Facility with 155 other nations to ensure the widespread distribution of proven COVID-19 vaccines.

Australia joins global partnership to ensure vaccine

The Federal Government has formally signed Australia into a global vaccine initiative aimed at rapidly providing COVID-19 vaccinations for people most in need around the world.

The agreement means Australia joins 155 other countries in signing up to the COVAX Facility, which is operated by the World Health Organisation, the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

The facility will work to collect financial and scientific resources from around the world to distribute proven coronavirus vaccines in a bid to end the acute phase of COVID-19 by the end of 2021.

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"COVAX is now in business: governments from every continent have chosen to work together, not only to secure vaccines for their own populations, but also to help ensure that vaccines are available to the most vulnerable everywhere," Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley said in a statement.

"With the commitments we're announcing today for the COVAX Facility, as well as the historic partnership we are forging with industry, we now stand a far better chance of ending the acute phase of this pandemic once safe, effective vaccines become available."

The allocation of vaccines, once they are proven, licensed and approved, will be overseen by a WHO guideline to make sure no one country is preferenced over another in the COVAX agreement.

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"COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis that demands an unprecedented global response," WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

"Vaccine nationalism will only perpetuate the disease and prolong the global recovery. Working together through the COVAX Facility is not charity, it's in every country's own best interests to control the pandemic and accelerate the global economic recovery."

Australia's formal inclusion into the COVAX facility today comes a month after Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly confirmed the Federal Government had committed to the idea.

"Wherever people need a vaccine when it is available, it will be made available to them. Australia has now committed $80 million and joined 172 other countries in their commitment," he said last month.

"If we really want to get control of this virus we need to do it everywhere and the vaccination program, if successful, will definitely be game-changer in relation to that control."

The partnership also follows an announcement yesterday by Health Minister Greg Hunt that the Federal Government would pour almost $6 million into the development of three Australia-made COVID-19 vaccines.

Australia is also in $1.7 billion partnership with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for a future rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed and trialed by the United Kingdom's Oxford University.

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the , and the .

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. or call 1800512348

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Source : 9 News More