Asean adopts pact to attain vaccine security, self-reliance
NONTHABURI, Thailand — Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) vowed their commitment to attain vaccine security and self-reliance to prevent the outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) in the region.
The 10-member states of Asean agreed to cooperate in avoiding vaccine shortage to combat VPD.
“We believe that AMS [Asean Member States] can, collectively, attain AVSSR [ASEAN Vaccine Security and Self-Reliance] to avoid incidental vaccine shortage and improve the supply of affordable, quality vaccines for normal and emergency situations both at the national and ASEAN-wide levels for the benefits of the people of the ASEAN,” the leaders said in a declaration after the 35th Asean Plenary on Saturday.
“Reduction of VPD burden and reduction of healthcare expenditure in AMS would be among the evident outcomes of attaining AVSSR,” they added.
The Asean leaders underscored the benefits of immunization and how it has eradicated VPDs over the decades.
“We recognize overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the benefits of immunization as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions known,” they said.
“Vaccines have saved countless lives, eradicated smallpox, lowered the global incidence of polio by 99 percent and reduced illness, disability and death from VPDs such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, rubella and hepatitis B, among others,” they added.
Under their declaration, the regional bloc also promised to cooperate through “capacity building and training, sharing of best practices, as well as other appropriate developmental actions in line with national laws, policy and regulation in respective AMS.”
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