President Tommy Remengesau Jr. said last week that Palau is looking at the United States to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccine.
Remengesau reiterated this call to the United States during the recent visit of Secretary of the US Navy, Kenneth Braithwaite here on Oct. 19.
Remengesau told Sec. Braithwaite said that everyone was hoping for a vaccine against Covid-19, and that his country and others were looking to the US for access.
Secr. Braithwaite replied that the US was “investing steadily (and) aggressively a great amount of US resources” towards developing a vaccine.
Earlier the US said that vaccines would become available by the end of the year.
In his Independence Day speech earlier this month, President Remengesau said the Pacific, including Palau, have partners like Taiwan and the United States to assist in combating the threats of COVID-19,
“Taiwan has perhaps the world’s most competent pandemic management system. New Zealand is a Pacific nation, and New Zealand has executed perhaps the world’s most effective quarantine system. The United States is a Pacific nation, and the United States continues to lead the world in medical expertise. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control are at the forefront of the hunt for a vaccine, as they have been at the forefront of the effort to develop effective testing,” he said.
Remengesau said the US has committed to assisting Palau in securing the vaccine, amid scientists around the world racing to develop the vaccine.
But there are concerns that while more developed nations have already placed large orders of the vaccine, the race could leave developing nations behind.
Remengesau has stressed that s access to vaccines should be open for all and will protect all, developed and developing nations and hoarding will only impact vulnerable countries and hinder them from recovery from COVID-related economic crisis.
The Pacific Island Forum also said that at the UN Assembly in December, Pacific leaders will want to ensure that other developed nations will have the vaccine available to the region.
Ministers also highlighted the need for co-operative multilateral projects to ensure equitable access to trusted and certified Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.