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23 Sep 2020

Australia enters into another agreement with COVAX

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The Hon Minister of health, stated the following via a media release made on the 23rd September 2020 .

The Australian Government has joined hands with the COVAX Facility: The vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
The ACT Accelerator is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
It is the only global initiative that is working with the governments and manufactures to ensure Covid -19 Vaccines are available worldwide to both higher income and lower income countries.
The WHO says the facility will pool buying power from participating economies and provide volume guarantees across a range of promising vaccine candidates. This is expected to allow vaccine manufacturers to take early investments in manufacturing capacity, proving participating countries and economies with the best chance at rapid access doses of a successful Covid -19 vaccine.
Australia is one of 8- self-financing countries that have indicated they will join the COVAX initiative. Further 92 low and middle income countries that are eligible to be subsidized by richer countries have submitted an expression of interest to join the initiative.
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In August 2020 Australia provided $80 million to the COVAX Facility Advance Market commitment (COVAX AMC) to improve access to safe effective and affordable Covid-19 Vaccines for 92 countries in the region and around the world.

The latest agreement opens up additional supplies for Australia, from which Australians could access vaccines for up to 50% of their population under a two-dose requirement while ensuring equal access to developing countries. Australia has made a commitment of 123.2 Million to be a part of the Purchasing mechanism of the facility which enables them to receive offers to purchase vaccines as and when they become available.

However, the minister emphasized that the purchase of vaccinations will only be negotiated once the vaccinations meet the safety and effectiveness standards.

The investment together with its Agreements with Oxford University/ AstraZeneca and University of Queensland/CSL for supply of vaccines ensures that Australia has an additional supply of vaccinations when they are ready.

The Minister further stated that these Agreements play an important role in Australia’s strategy to access early, effective, and safe vaccinations; the Vaccination is the best way to Protect the Community he said.

Minister Hunt also stated that joining the COVAX means Australia is committed to the principle that “whoever finds the vaccine must share it”.

Senator Payne stated that the Access of vaccines will play a critical role in the economic recovery of the region; and that everyone must come together as a global community to ensure that our response leaves no one behind”

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