Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative

Recognising the importance of equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, Australia is supporting our partners in the Pacific and Southeast Asia to access and deliver COVID-19 vaccines.

Our support for vaccine access is delivered primarily through three pathways:

  • Pathway 1 – a commitment of $80 million to the COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment (AMC) to purchase vaccines to vaccinate eligible lower-income countries’ highest-risk populations (20% of population);
     
  • Pathway 2 – in-kind donations, subject to domestic requirements, of COVID-19 vaccine stocks held by the Australian Government; and
     
  • Pathway 3 – financial and technical assistance through the Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative.

The Australian Government has committed a total of $623.2 million to assist countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia access COVID-19 vaccines. Announced by the Prime Minister in October 2020, Australia has committed $523.2 million to a Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative (the initiative). The initiative adopts an end-to-end approach covering both the supply of vaccines and preparatory and delivery support. It includes:
  • funding to support partner countries to procure safe and effective vaccines;
  • health security partnerships to provide partner countries with high quality technical assistance, including support from Australian experts, related to immunisation policy, planning and regulation; and
  • support to establish an ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.​​​​

For the Pacific, the initiative aims to help partner countries achieve comprehensive immunisation coverage and support the delivery of vaccines in accordance with countries’ own National Vaccine Deployment Plans.

For Southeast Asia, the initiative aims to strengthen the ability of countries to access vaccines, and selectively engage technical expertise to support preparedness and delivery.

At the first Quad Leaders’ Summit on 13 March 2021, the Prime Minister announced $100 million for a Quad Vaccine Partnership. The partnership, to be guided by a Quad Vaccine Experts Group, will expand and coordinate the efforts of the US, Japan, India and Australia to increase vaccine supply and support effective delivery in the Indo-Pacific region. There is no higher priority for countries in our region than access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

The Australian Government has established a Vaccine Taskforce within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to implement the Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative. The taskforce is managed by DFAT’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security.

An Expert Advisory Group guiding the implementation of the Initiative was established in October 2020. You can find more information on the group's members here.