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31 October 2020

UNICEF Australia welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement of $500m over three years to support the introduction of a vaccine against COVID-19, once a safe and effective vaccine has been successful.

The introduction of a successful COVID-19 vaccine is an essential step towards ending the acute phase of this global pandemic, which has had devastating health, social and economic impacts on countries and communities around the world, including our nearest neighbours.

“We know that until the pandemic is over for everyone, it’s not for anyone and this support for South East Asia and the Pacific to introduce a successful vaccine is a strong contribution towards ensuring the health of all Australians and our neighbours, supporting the global recovery from this pandemic,” said Alice Hall, COVID-19 Vaccine Lead at UNICEF Australia.

Under the COVAX Facility, UNICEF is leading efforts to procure and supply vaccines in what could be the world’s largest and fastest ever procurement and supply of vaccines, in collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund. In countries across the East Asia Pacific region and around the world, UNICEF is also working closely with governments, WHO and GAVI to prepare for the introduction of a successful vaccine.

This announcement of additional support from the Australian Government today will further enable organisations such as UNICEF to accelerate efforts to prepare for the safe and equitable introduction of a successful vaccine and sustain support to partners to ensure its effective implementation over the coming years.

“This commitment today provides strong support to our ongoing efforts to ensure the health and wellbeing of children, families and communities across our region,” said Alice Hall, COVID Vaccine Lead for UNICEF Australia. UNICEF is the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, procuring more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunisation and outbreak response on behalf for nearly 100 countries.