Top Asian News 2:05 a.m. GMT

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Asia Today: Australia to spend on vaccines for wider region

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has announced it will spend 500 million Australian dollars ($351 million) to secure COVID-19 vaccines for the Pacific and Southeast Asia “as part of a shared recovery for our region from the pandemic.” The government said it would use a range of advance purchase agreements with manufacturers via the global COVAX Facility plan, which aims to ensure virus vaccines are shared with all nations. “We are committing an additional AU$500 million over three years towards this effort,” it said. “The funding will further help ensure that the countries of the Pacific and East Timor are able to achieve full immunization coverage, and will make a significant contribution toward meeting the needs of southeast Asia.