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Quad Members Join Forces to Produce 1 Billion Vaccines for Indo-Pacific Countries

by Tyler Chen
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Image Source: Yoshihide Suga’s Twitter Account

On March 12th, leaders of the Quad’s member countries came together in a virtual meet to discuss the strategy to counter China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region. The decisions included grouping 4 nations’ manufacturing, financing, and distribution capability to deliver 1 billion vaccines to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by the end of 2022.

“We all have to focus on generating domestic demand and driving sustainable global growth,” Biden said. “with launching an ambitious new joint partnership that is going to boost vaccine manufacturing for the global benefit and strengthen vaccinations, to benefit the entire Indo-Pacific.”

 

What’s The Quad?

The Quad, short for Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is an informal forum formed by Japan, the United States, Australia, and India in 2007. They have previously joined forces to tackle the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004. In 2017, the Quad was used as a tool to combat China by the Trump’s administration. The Quad has held an annual meeting ever since with a minister’s meeting in 2019 and one in Japan the following year.

 

Strategy to Produce 1 Billion Vaccines

Each country in the Quad has a different role in pushing the goal of 1 billion vaccines. The United States will work with a vaccine manufacturer in India, Biological E, to increase the manufacturing capacity and support the “last-mile” vaccination with more than 100 million to reach immunization.

Japan will provide loans to the Indian government to expand manufacturing power to export vaccines to lower-, middle-income or vaccine-lacking countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Among the vaccines produced, the one that received authorization from the WHO would be prioritized. With respect to the “last-mile” vaccination delivery plan, Japan will back the vaccine purchase and cold-chain support in developing countries with $41 million and new concessional yen loans.

Australia will then help provide COVID-19 vaccines and support “last-mile” vaccination in Southeast Asia with 77 million in total, and that is “in addition to its existing commitment of US$407 million for regional vaccine access and health security which will provide full vaccine coverage to nine Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste” as stated in the fact sheet of the Quad Summit.

India undoubtedly would be the main force of vaccine production, and the other three countries would collaborate to make sure the 1 billion dosages are out by the end of 2022.

Related Article: Japan Lags Behind in COVID-19 Vaccination Goals, Looks to Hasten Approval of Second Vaccine

References

  1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-asia/u-s-india-japan-and-australia-counter-china-with-billion-dose-vaccine-pact-idUSKBN2B40IP
  2. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/12/fact-sheet-quad-summit/

 

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