Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC is among leading health and aid experts calling for Australia to commit AUD$250 million to the COVAX global vaccination effort.
Headed by health coalition End COVID For All (ECFA), the experts have written to the Prime Minister to express their ‘grave concern regarding the state of global vaccine inequity’, and to urge the government to launch a AUD$50 million campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy.
The group argues the emergence of the Omicron variant demonstrates the importance of increasing vaccine protection in developing countries, adding that “concerted global co-operation” could reduce the risk of COVID-19 mutations.
Leading Australian scientists and business leaders have called on the Australian Government to do more in the global effort against #COVID-19. An open letter to the Prime Minister calls for a multi-million dollar increase in funding. @EndCOVIDForAll https://t.co/3Xdq9bU0h1
– Burnet Institute (@BurnetInstitute) December 1, 2021
“The emergence of Omicron shows how the virus mutates when left unchecked: more cases, more mutations and more chance of vaccine-resistant strains,” the experts write.
“The Australian Government has made important contributions to date to help our Indo-Pacific neighbours access vaccines and support national vaccine roll-outs, along with initial investments to the international effort to help vaccinate low-income nations through the COVAX AMC. But this crisis is far from over.
“We are calling for further urgent action by the Australian Government to commit its fair share to vaccinate the world and further assist our region.”
The experts call on the Australians Government to take three steps essential to combatting COVID-19:
Continue to add Australia’s weight to tackling global vaccine inequity through the commitment of an additional AUD$250 million to the COVAX AMC Facility
Use Australia’s partnerships to tackle vaccine hesitancy with AUD$50 million from existing funding for the Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative
Reduce the chance of future outbreaks, variants and pandemics with a commitment of AUD$100 million to the CEPI replenishment
The signatories represent a cross-section of leading voices in public health, international development, medicine and business including Doherty Institute Director, Professor Sharon Lewin; Executive Director of Micah Australia, Rev Tim Costello; Chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Jane Halton; and CEO of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott.
CLICK HERE to read the letter.