Reaction to PM’s Comments on Regional Vaccine Distribution

19 Aug, 2020

Following comments by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison on Australia’s role in distributing a COVID-19 vaccine to the Pacific and parts of South-East Asia.

Tim Costello AO, spokesperson for the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign:

“Today, the Prime Minister is looking over the Australian horizon to the global battle against COVID-19. He is absolutely right, Australia has a role to play to end COVID beyond our borders and to assist those less equipped to tackle this pandemic.

“He has my wholehearted support and that of the compassionate Australian community in that endeavour. But the development program must increase to achieve this.

“Securing supply of a COVID-19 vaccine for our neighbours will bring a swifter end to the crisis, lessen the health impacts and allow for a quicker economic recovery in the region.”

The Prime Minister’s comments come on the day 150 organisations and thousands of Australians have joined together as part of the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign.

Marc Purcell, CEO of the Australian Council for International Development added:

“Australia’s development cooperation program has built the connections to help roll out this vaccine to the region. But we have reached the end of repurposing.

“In order to do this effectively, new resources are required. Otherwise, we risk running down other critical areas of development cooperation and compromising existing relationships.

“There will be intense vaccine diplomacy and it is in Australia’s national interest to supply vaccines free to our neighbours in South East Asia and the Pacific.

“Not only is it the right thing to do, but assisting our neighbours with a vaccine is the way to build regional relationships and become a partner-of-choice. If we don’t, others will.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors 

 

Transcript, Prime Minister's press conference Macquarie Park, NSW - 19 August 2020 - https://www.pm.gov.au/media/press-conference-macquarie-park-nsw

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