US and allies promise one billion Covid-19 jabs for South East Asia

US and allies promise one billion jabs for South East Asia
The virtual summit on Friday was chaired by US President Joe Biden. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: The leaders of the US, Japan, India and Australia have agreed to deliver one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine to South East Asia by the end of 2022.

The joint commitment was made following the first leaders’ meeting of the so-called Quad – a group of the four countries formed in 2007.

The coronavirus vaccines – expected to be the single-dose Johnson & Johnson product – are set to be manufactured in India.

The United States said the “massive joint commitment” would initially focus on delivering doses to South East Asia.

Shortly after the virtual summit on Friday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said: “With Indian manufacturing, US technology, Japanese and American financing and Australian logistics… [we] committed to delivering up to one billion doses.”

Mr Blinken said the vaccines would go to the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), 10-member international body that represents more than 500 million people, as well as “the Pacific and beyond”.

Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are all Asean members.

The Indian company Biological Ltd will manufacture the extra doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received initial World Health Organization (WHO) approval on Friday.

After the meeting, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter: “India’s formidable vaccine production capacity will be expanded with support from Japan, US and Australia.”

The talks on Friday were the group’s first at a leaders’ level, and the Indian Prime Minister said “vaccines, climate change, and emerging technologies” were all on the agenda.

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