The Australian government has announced that Australia will provide a grant of AUD 15.2 million (US 11.85 million) for the rollout of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines in Laos.
Australian Ambassador to Laos Paul Kelly met with Pany Yathotou, Vice President of Laos today to announce Australia’s package of support, according to the Australian Embassy.
The grant provided by Australia will provide around 1 million doses of vaccines in addition to other critical support, such as training of health professionals to safely administer the doses and access to some of Australia’s leading health regulatory institutions.
This contribution will assist the Lao government to significantly increase the proportion of citizens that are to be safely vaccinated.
“As a neighbour and good development partner of Laos, we are pleased to be able to support the people of Laos in a time of need. Ensuring Laos has access to safe and effective vaccines is a major and immediate priority for the Australian Government,” said Ambassador Paul Kelly.
“We recognize no one is safe until everyone is safe. Our support will vaccinate hundreds of thousands of Lao people as well as support longer-term health security.”
While the majority of Australia’s support will be used to purchase the vaccines themselves, the package will also assist with the distribution and administration of vaccines as well as support a public information campaign to ensure Lao people have access to clear information about the Covid-19 vaccination, in Lao and ethnic languages in partnership with the Lao Government and relevant authorities.
“Australia has been a long-standing and trusted partner for Laos over the past 69 years. The Government of the Lao PDR highly values Australia’s assistance in various sectors including this vaccination support. This significant contribution will assist the Government of Laos to ensure the successful rollout of a safe and effective vaccine to the vulnerable and help Laos recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Vice President Pany.
Australia’s vaccine support package for Laos is in addition to the AUD 4.8 million (US 3.74 million) of development assistance for the Covid-19 response that Australia is delivering.
Australia has also made a significant contribution to the multilateral COVAX facility, which shipped 132,000 doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccine to Laos in March, and will cover vaccination for more than 20 percent of the country for free.