The Jakarta Post recently published an opinion piece by Vegard Kaale, the Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste. As Indonesia recently received the country’s first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines, the Ambassador empathizes the importance of ensuring even distribution of vaccines between developed and undeveloped countries.
The Ambassador states that Norway and Indonesia stand together to ensure global, equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for all developed and undeveloped countries through important positions in the initiative called Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A).
Launched in April 2020, the initiative has built the world’s largest portfolio of vaccines, tests, and treatment needed to tackle the pandemic and an advanced purchasing system ensuring they get to the places where they are needed.
The Ambassador writes that Norway as co-chair of the ACT-A Facilitation and Indonesia as co-chair of COVAX Engagement Group are both aimed at ensuring that ACT-A and COVAX, ACT-A vaccine pillar receives the needed fundings and are aimed at closing the funding gap as soon as possible.
The need for immediate action is clear and Norway has granted more than $ 500 million in ACT-A and around $ 150 million to support COVAX in making vaccines available to low and middle-income countries. Indonesia recently received the country’s first doses of vaccines through the COVAX-facility and is set to receive millions more.
Ending his opinion piece, Vegard Kaale states, “Norway remains committed to continuing our funding and we call on everyone to join us. Together we can end the pandemic!”