Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute (NVI), Ministry of Public Health, held a regional Meeting titled “ASEAN Consultative Meeting on the ASEAN Vaccine Security and Self-Reliance (AVSSR): Governance and Vaccine Information Sharing” with the goal of advocating for the prudent implementation of the AVSSR Strategic and Action Plan 2021-2025.
On July 10, 2023, NVI, the Ministry of Public Health, and the ASEAN Secretariat held a regional conference on Governance and Vaccine Information Sharing with the goal of establishing effective information sharing among ASEAN member states (AMSs) and enabling the event to serve as an initial structure for addressing emerging diseases through solid networking on R&D, stockpiling, procurement, and human resource development across ASEAN. The expected ultimate goal is that ASEAN will have enough vaccine supplies to use in both regular and emergency circumstances in the long run, as defined by the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on AVSSR in 2019.
Furthermore, H.E. Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health; H.E. Mr. Ekkaphab Phanthavong, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community; and Dr. Nakorn Premsri, Director of the National Vaccine Institute, attended the opening ceremony both onsite and online.
Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, stated that Thailand, through the NVI, has advocated the concept of establishing vaccine security efforts in the global arena since 2014, as the government acknowledged the importance of vaccines in the lives of Thai citizens and the ASEAN community at large. Therefore, NVI has organised a series of meetings to promote ASEAN cooperation and maintain it. This indicates that this is the sixth time we’ve met. The NVI, as Thailand’s central vaccine agency, and ASEAN worked together to elevate the country’s vaccination policy to a regional policy for the first time during the 35th ASEAN Summit, when the ASEAN Summit adopted and published the ASEAN Declaration on AVSSR. Following that, it is the primary health policy of ASEAN member countries.
All governments have agreed to take significant steps by 2025 to ensure vaccine security in both normal and emergency situations. One of the declaration’s essential themes is that Member States establish AVSSR Strategic and Action Plans collaboratively and support the aforementioned plan as a vital tool for driving ASEAN stability. Most importantly, Thailand and ASEAN have an excellent relationship with China through the ASEAN-China cooperation framework, and the Chinese government is interested in assisting Thailand and ASEAN in all dimensions in addition to consistently providing good collaboration. This emphasises the significance of the Thai vaccine mission moving ahead into the world with strong and ongoing partnership.
Dr. Nakorn Premsri, director of the National Vaccine Institute (NVI), mentioned the operations of the NVI as the country’s focal point for vaccines. NVI has developed cooperation with global network agencies, both public and private, in many regions around the world. This aims to raise the country’s vaccine research and development potential to meet international standards, especially through cooperation with the People’s Republic of China and other countries. In pushing for the creation of the ASEAN-International Vaccine Network on an industrial scale following the post-COVID-19 period. The outcome is an object to be used as an important data source for gap analysis and mapping the way towards security and self-reliance in the field of vaccines among ASEAN.
The conference also provides a specific framework for joint action between NVI, Thai agencies, and ASEAN vaccine experts in the exchange of national vaccine data, as well as being open for the concrete discussion that leads to a regional commitment in driving such an AVSSR initiative to its goal of having an ASEAN solidarity towards vaccine self-reliance.
Dr. Nakorn added, “The outcomes of this meeting will result in ASEAN having an explicit vaccine governance structure with a unified dataset that policymakers in each country can access and use to prepare for potential health disasters.” As it may occur throughout the time. In addition, ASEAN will agree to form a committee to oversee ASEAN vaccine activity, which will help push crucial policies such as the acquisition of vaccines at affordable prices and the establishment of the ASEAN Vaccine Stockpile for emergency usage.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put ASEAN to the test. We have been through a global crisis, and while walking alone may cause us to walk quickly, going together as an ASEAN team with friendly supportive roles of ASEAN+3 like (China, Japan and South Korea) will allow us to walk in the long distance. Accordingly, we will move farther and more steadily, resulting in long-term stability and self-reliance in vaccines in the ASEAN region.”
National Vaccine Institute
Published: 11 July 2023