Save the Children has applauded the Australian Government’s commitment of $300 million to Gavi, the global vaccine alliance at the forefront of efforts to protect the world against epidemics.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will formally make the announcement at the Global Vaccine Summit 2020 tonight.
“This is a very significant and welcome contribution from the Australian Government that will help save many lives,” Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds said.
“There has never been a more important time to invest in global vaccines, as the world faces a global pandemic like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Australia’s contribution will go a long way towards ensuring Gavi is fully replenished.
“Millions of children around the world are missing out on vaccinations due to COVID-19. To combat the resurgence of other deadly diseases, we need to keep delivering vaccines where we can and ramping up immunisation. A fully funded Gavi will support this.”
The Global Vaccine Summit, being held virtually, aims to raise US$7.4bn (AUD$10.7bn) for Gavi’s next strategic period, from 2021-25, which will likely include the development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Mr Ronalds emphasized the importance of ensuring equal distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, should one become available, and the important role Gavi would play.
“When a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, adequate and secure distribution will be essential, particularly for low-income countries,” Mr Ronalds said.
“The global community has a responsibility to ensure this, and Gavi is well-positioned to play a key role, including supporting a stockpile to ensure a rapid response to COVID-19 outbreaks.”
Gavi has helped vaccinate more than 760 million children around the world since 2000. The vaccine alliance is planning to immunise 140 million children in the Indo-Pacific region between 2021 and 2025.
For media inquiries contact Evan Schuurman on 0406 117 937.