Covid: Quad countries pledge to donate 1.2 billion vaccine doses

US, India, Japan and Australia said 79 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have already been collectively delivered to the Indo-Pacific region

The Quad countries — United States, India, Japan and Australia — have pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses globally, in addition to the vaccines financed through Covax.

In a joint statement, released by the White House on Friday, the countries said that 79 million coronavirus vaccine doses have already been collectively delivered to the Indo-Pacific region.

“In addition to doses financed through Covax, Australia, India, Japan, and the United States have pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion doses globally of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines,” the Quad joint statement said.

“We launched the Quad Vaccine Experts Group, comprised of top experts from our respective governments, charged with building strong ties and better aligning our plans to support Indo-Pacific health security and Covid-19 response,” they said, further adding that the partnership on Covid-19 response and relief marks historic new focus for the Quad.

The leaders also said that they are committed to better preparations for the next pandemic.

“Quad leaders commit to better preparations for the next pandemic. We will continue to build coordination for health-security efforts in the Indo-Pacific, and we will jointly conduct at least one pandemic preparedness tabletop or exercise in 2022,” they said.

Quad will ensure expanded vaccine manufacturing in India is exported for the Indo-Pacific and the world, the summit statement said.

Japan said that it will continue to help regional countries procure safe, effective and quality-assured vaccines through $3.3 billion in the Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan programme.

Australia will deliver $212 million in grant aid to purchase vaccines for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

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In addition, Australia will allocate $219 million to support last-mile vaccine roll-outs and lead in coordinating Quad’s last-mile delivery efforts in those regions.

A first-ever in-person Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) Leaders’ Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden in Washington witnessed the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

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