Vaccine regulation and safety
Any vaccines procured by Australia will meet rigorous, internationally-accepted standards of safety and efficacy. Australia is playing a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and effectiveness of vaccines across the Pacific and in key partner countries in Southeast Asia.
This includes providing technical support for countries on regulatory requirements for COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy, drawing on expertise within key Australian institutions such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). TGA, WHO and other recognised Stringent Regulatory Authorities are among the agencies Australia will rely on to ensure vaccines are approved for use before delivery in-country. These are the same processes Australia is using domestically.
Vaccine delivery and monitoring
The Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative will provide technical assistance for our neighbours to deliver successful COVID-19 immunisation programs.
This includes support for immunisation policy and planning, focusing on technical requirements such as cold chain and distribution logistics, public communication campaigns, and capacity building in vaccine quality and safety assurance.
Australia’s approach to the roll-out of the vaccine is evidenced-based, drawing on local, national and international expertise. This ensures the purchasing, transportation, and roll-out of the vaccines are based on sound expertise and contextual knowledge, noting the specifics of vaccine allocation in-country will be led by partner governments.
Our commitment to supporting inclusive and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines
Combatting the pandemic relies heavily on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination and the ability to achieve high vaccination coverage. Vaccine acceptance and access will, however, be affected by the interplay between gender, disability, age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status amongst other factors. Failure to consider and address social inequalities will affect vaccination uptake and coverage. In recognition of the impact of social inequalities on access to vaccines, the Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative has been designed to support and promote equitable, accessible and safe vaccination programs, aligned with national plans and priorities. Australia is working closely with partner governments and implementing partners, including UNICEF and WHO, to roll-out vaccination programs that are inclusive and accessible.
The VAHSI gender equality, disability and social inclusion strategy will support progress towards the Initiative’s end-of program goals and outcomes focused on inclusive recovery, facilitating meaningful participation and ensuring no-one is left behind. Under this strategy, we commit to working with partner governments to monitor and address issues of inequity and to mitigate the risk of discrimination and human rights violations, leveraging national plans and priorities to achieve this. We further commit to working with partners to implement contextual approaches to gender equality, disability and social inclusion to enhance vaccine acceptance, confidence and uptake and improve access to vaccine programs.
Photo: Dr Sofia Lima conducts COVID-19 vaccination training in Bobonaro, Timor-Leste.
Photo Credit: Maluk Timor.