Delegation of the European Union to Georgia

Team Europe: Fiji becomes first Pacific country to receive COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX Facility

06/03/2021 - 11:41
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Nadi, Fiji (06/03/21) -The first consignment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the multilateral COVAX Facility have been delivered to Fiji, becoming the first Pacific island country to receive the vaccines through the facility. These 12,000 doses will allow the start of the vaccination campaign in Fiji with those most at risk. This delivery is part of a first wave of arrival that will continue in the coming months. Fiji will receive 100,800 doses of the vaccines under the COVAX Facility.

The Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation for the Pacific, Dr. Erja Askola joined the Government of Fiji, the WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and bilateral donors in this historic moment at the Nadi International Airport.

"The COVAX Facility is a great illustration of global solidarity. This is real multilateralism in action. The European Union is proud to join the Government of Fiji, the UN agencies and bilateral donors to make this happen. Team Europe - the EU, its Member States and financial institutions - are a leading contributor to the COVAX Facility. We have contributed over FJD 5.4 billion (USD 2,6) to this facility to ensure international vaccine solidarity. The first batch of vaccines is only the beginning. There will be much more."

It is a key priority for the European Union to help end the pandemic by enabling fair, equitable, safe and effective global access to COVID-19 vaccines. This contribution will help secure 1.3 billion doses of vaccination for 92 low and middle-income countries, including Fiji and the Pacific, by the end of the year. As the EU High Representative Joseph Borrell has said, the coronavirus is "the world's common enemy that we can only defeat with a global approach". Team Europe has mobilised significant resources also to help our partners across the world address the immediate health emergency, support health systems and the economic recovery. 

‘Sharing vaccines with our partners is not only about international solidarity. It is in the interest of us all. We need to help break the vicious cycle of new mutations. Team Europe is proud to support the great efforts of the Fijian Government to address the consequences of the virus. Fiji has been successful in keeping the virus contained, with a huge cost to its vital tourism industry. The vaccines will give us hope that we may be at the beginning of the end of this ordeal. ” said Dr. Askola.

Background

The COVAX Facility aims to purchase 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021, including at least 1.3 billion doses for low and middle-income country.  The COVAX Facility is a risk-sharing mechanism: it reduces the risk for manufacturers who invest without being sure about future demand, and it reduces the risk that countries would fail to secure access to a viable vaccine. Team Europe - the UE, its Member States and the European Investment Bank - is a leading contributor to this multilateral initiative, with over FJD 5.4 billion/EUR 2. 2/USD 2.6 billion. The EU contribution as a whole brings us closer to achieving the COVAX target.

For further information, contact: Mohammed Nazeem KASIM, European Union Press & Information Officer. Tel: +679 3313-633 (110) Email: Mohammed-Nazeem.KASIM@eeas.europa.eu or delegation-fiji@eeas.europa.eu