Australia's one million vaccine milestone

Australia has chalked up a milestone as the nation has donated one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines across the Pacific and Timor Leste.

In a Twitter post last Thursday, Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja announced the milestone.

“Thank you to everyone across the Pacific involved in these rollouts,” he said.

He said that Australia is committed to supporting timely vaccine access for the region as it is the right thing to do.

Australia's Foreign Minister, Senator Marise Payne, said that the country was working to build the region's resilience to the pandemic with its donation of vaccine doses.

"Thank you to everyone supporting the delivery and roll out of these vaccines as we all work for a more resilient, prosperous and stable region," she said in a statement.

The breakdown of the doses is estimated to include 500,000 to Fiji, which is currently battling an outbreak of the virus' lethal Delta stain. 

About 278,000 doses have been given to Timor-Leste, 63,000 to the Solomon Islands, 50,000 to Samoa, 20,000 to Vanuatu, 28,000 to Papua New Guinea, 9000 to Tonga and 7000 to Tuvalu.

In a statement issued by the Australian High Commission in Samoa  this week, they had announced that Australia is proud to partner with Samoa to ensure it has access to safe and effective vaccines with the arrival of a further 30,000 Australian-manufactured AstraZeneca doses.

"[Australia] is making headway on its commitment to share an allocation of up 15 million doses throughout the Pacific and Timor-Leste," the statement said. 

"Let us continue working together to achieve comprehensive vaccine coverage for our region."

According to the statement, the recent delivery to Samoa is part of Australia’s commitment to share up to 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with their development partners in the Pacific and Timor-Leste by mid-2022.

In June the Australian Government had contributed an additional AUD$50 million ($100 million tala) to the COVAX Facility in a bid to boost equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide including Samoa.

In May, Australia and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (U.N.I.C.E.F) had announced a partnership to finance the purchase of 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

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