A scinetist is doing research on a vaccine against COVID-19 in Shanghai. Photo:Yang Hui/Global Times

Australia plans to spend 500 million Australian dollars (351 million US dollars) to secure coronavirus vaccines for its regional neighbours, the government said Saturday.

Canberra will commit 500 million dollars over three years towards a regional vaccine access and health security initiative, the government announced in a news release.

The country will secure access to Covid-19 vaccines for Australia, the Pacific and Southeast Asia via advance

purchase agreements with manufacturers and participation in Covax, an international initiative to distribute Covid-19 vaccines fairly across the globe.

The Australian government said it will supply safe and effective vaccine doses and deliver technical

“The funding will further help ensure that the countries of the Pacific and Timor-Leste are able to achieve

full immunisation coverage, and will make a significant contribution toward meeting the needs of Southeast
Asia,” the statement added.

“A fast, safe vaccine rollout in the Pacific and Southeast Asia will mean we are able to return to more normal travel, tourism and trade with our key partners in the region.”

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