Solomon Islands children will now have greater access to vaccines through Australia’s new pledge of AUD 300 million to the Vaccine Alliance.

A recent virtual Global Vaccine Summit hosted by the United Kingdom, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australia’s pledge of AUD 300 million from 2021 to 2025 to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. This is a 20 percent increase from Australia’s previous contribution to Gavi.

Australia and Solomon Islands are partners in the Gavi Alliance. Australia’s support will help immunise 140 million children in the Indo-Pacific region by 2025, including in Solomon Islands.

Gavi is a public-private partnership that provides access to vaccines for low-income countries. Over the past two decades, Gavi has supported 16 countries in the IndoPacific with more than USD 3 billion in vaccine and health system support, and has directly contributed to the health of over 318 million children in our region through immunisation.

Australia’s commitment, which draws on its existing development budget, will help to ensure that Gavi maintains a strong focus on our region.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne welcomed the partnership, saying that Australia is stepping up work alongside our neighbours as they respond to the COVID-19 challenge while continuing to manage other preventable diseases.

“Immunisation saves lives,” Minister Payne said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has served as yet another reminder that investing in vaccine access is critical to regional health security.”

Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Alex Hawke said Australia was pleased to renew its commitment to Gavi.

“Our mission is to see that all children, regardless of where they live, have access to life saving vaccines. I am particularly pleased that for our Pacific family and TimorLeste, the Alliance has enabled more than 1.5 million children to be vaccinated,” Minister Hawke said.

Source: AHC Media Release