SINGAPORE: Singapore will contribute US$5 million (S$6.67 million) to help bring COVID-19 vaccines to people in low- and lower-middle-income countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a joint statement on Friday (Dec 4).
The contribution will go towards the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Advance Market Commitment (AMC) mechanism, which will assist 92 countries in securing access to vaccines.
Six members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are among the countries eligible for assistance: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The COVAX initiative is coordinated by global vaccine alliance Gavi, along with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization.
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MFA and MOH said that the move is part of Singapore’s “consistent support for vaccine multilateralism, and the fair and equitable access and allocation of vaccines”, and that an effective international response to the pandemic requires global solidarity.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on public health, society and the economy both at home and abroad,” the ministries said.
“The virus does not respect borders, and no one is safe until everyone is safe.
“The successful development of safe and efficacious vaccines is a critical step towards overcoming the pandemic.”
The aim of the COVAX Facility is to obtain and fairly distribute 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
Singapore is one of 97 self-financing participants in the COVAX Facility, and co-chairs the Friends of the COVAX Facility initiative with Switzerland.
“Singapore will continue to work closely with our international partners, in particular, the United Nations, the World Health Organization, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to advance vaccine multilateralism and forge a global response to this pandemic,” the ministries said.