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Jakarta Post

Outlook 2021: ASEAN vaccine solidarity in focus as virus looks likely to stay

  • Dian Septiari
    Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, January 9, 2021   /  06:42 am
Outlook 2021: ASEAN vaccine solidarity in focus as virus looks likely to stay Healthcare worker Sarah Lim receives her COVID-19 vaccine at the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in Singapore on Dec. 30, 2020. (REUTERS /Lee Jia Wen/Ministry of Communications and Information/Handout )

At the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in November 2019, the leaders of 10 member states adopted a declaration, along with many other documents, on vaccine security and self-reliance, noting concerns that a vaccine shortage “would require a collective determination to address”. Unbeknownst to the leaders, the 35th summit would be the last time they would all meet in person for an extended period of time, with northern neighbor China informing the World Health Organization just two months later about unidentified pneumonia cases the world would later come to associate with COVID-19. The virus that causes the disease, SARS-CoV-2, would go on to spread rapidly around the globe, including Southeast Asia, where it has infected more than 1.5 million people and killed nearly 36,000, according to an ASEAN risk assessment report released on Wednesday. No country was prepared for the ...