Quad to pledge 1.2 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses globally
The Quad countries—the United States, Japan, India and Australia—said on Friday that they will pledge more than 1.2 billion doses of the vaccines against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) globally. The Quad vaccine initiative was announced in March and comprises the manufacturing of a billion doses with partners chipping in with funding and logistics, as reported earlier by the Hindustan Times.
“In line with our March announcement, and recognizing the continuing global supply gap, we will ensure this expanded manufacturing is exported for the Indo-Pacific and the world, and we will coordinate with key multilateral initiatives, such as the COVAX Facility, to procure proven safe, effective and quality-assured Covid-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries,” a joint statement read.
To date, the Quad said it has delivered nearly 79 million doses in the Indo-Pacific region.
The leaders welcomed Biological E Ltd production, including through Quad investments, of at least one billion safe and effective vaccines by the end of next year. “The Quad also welcomes India’s announcement to resume exports of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines, including to COVAX, beginning in October 2021,” the joint statement added.
Pointing out that the coronavirus pandemic, which struck last year, continues to cause global suffering, the Quad leaders committed to better preparations for the next pandemic. They also promised to build coordination for health-security efforts in the Indo-Pacific, and jointly carry out at least one pandemic preparedness tabletop or exercise next year.
On the vaccination front, Japan will continue providing assistance to its regional partners to purchase doses through $3.3 billion of the Covid-19 crisis response emergency support loan. The Australian government, on the other hand, will deliver $212 million in grant aid to purchase vaccine doses for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the joint statement said. It will provide $219 million to support last-mile vaccine rollouts and lead in coordinating Quad’s last-mile delivery efforts in these regions.