The shipment of 400,000 doses of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine was confirmed in a joint statement by Australian foreign affairs minister Marise Payne and Minister for International Development Zed Seselja last week.
“This delivery is the first instalment towards Australia’s commitment of 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses to be shared with Vietnam this year, as our region responds to COVID-19,” the statement read.
“It is in addition to Australia’s existing $40 million package of vaccine-related support to Vietnam.”
In partnership with UNICEF, Australia has agreed to procure additional COVID-19 doses to support Vietnam’s pandemic response. This will include funding for training healthcare workers, syringes, fridges for cold chain storage and support for vaccine delivery in remote provinces in Vietnam.
“Access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is the highest priority for countries in our region, which will help to save lives and promote our shared economic recovery,” the statement read.
Australia’s latest donation of vaccine doses to Vietnam brings the total of donated vaccines to our Pacific and Southeast Asia neighbours to more than 2 million shots. It is part of a larger commitment for Australia to share at least 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses available to countries in the region by mid-2022.
“Australia’s partnership with Vietnam complements our $100 million commitment to the Quad Vaccine Partnership with the United States, Japan and India, and contribution of $130 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), providing fair and equitable access to vaccines in developing nations,” the ministers said.