Australia will pledge 300 million Australian dollars (207 million US dollars) to provide vaccines for children in the Indian and Pacific region, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maris said on the eve of a global vaccine summit Thursday.
“Immunization saves lives,”
Maris said in a statement.
“The Covid-19 epidemic is yet another reminder that investing in vaccine provision is essential to regional health security,” she added.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will pledge the amount during the virtual summit run by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to raise money for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, a global public-private health partnership.
The alliance is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and others, and arranges massive purchases to reduce the costs of getting vaccines to poor countries.
The summit aims to raise at least $7.4 billion for the alliance to vaccinate 300 million children in the world’s poorest countries by 2025 from diseases such as polio, diphtheria, and measles.
The alliance will spend $800 million within five years to provide vaccines for 140 million children in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Ben said that four million children in Indonesia will be able to get the pneumococcal vaccine under the program, at a quarter of the commercial cost, and the program will provide vaccines for 400,000 children in Papua New Guinea.
The coalition will provide $200 million so that immunization programs can continue wherever possible in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, to organize vaccination campaigns to remedy deficiencies.