Meeting focusses on COVID-19 strategies, vaccine distribution

Izah Azahari

The 4th Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Facilitation Council Meeting was held online on February 9 with Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar representing Brunei Darussalam.

Participants at the meeting shared strategies including how to enhance the distribution of two billion COVID-19 vaccine, testing, treatment and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as handling of the new COVID-19 variant through research and development.

Panellists, comprising companies including AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, AXA and Indonesia’s Minister of Health, discussed the challenges to achieve fair and equitable access to vaccines, along with suggestions to handle them.

Participants also discussed the ACT-Accelerator budget for 2021 and the financing mechanisms to explore solutions and to ensure fair and equitable access and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, and a vaccination coverage rate of 60 to 80 per cent targetted by most low and medium low income countries are achieved.

At the end of the meeting, the co-chair of the meeting shared a summary of the results of the meeting and the ACT-Accelerator’s move forward.

As ASEAN Chair 2021, Brunei Darussalam became a member country of ACT Accelerator Facilitation Council, which was established in 2020, to give high level political leadership and support global works in combatting COVID-19.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar attends the meeting. PHOTO: IZAH AZAHARI