Health and health-security are set to take center-stage during the first-ever meeting of leaders from the four "Quad" countries, the Guardian Australia reports. Access to COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be one of the main agenda items during the talks when Prime Minister Scott Morrison joins US President Joe Biden, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Japan Yoshihide Suga via video-link.
This Guardian Australia article quotes Non-Resident Fellow Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott and Honourary Associate Matilda Steward's contributions and policy recommendations from the USSC's inaugural flagship publication State of the United States: An evolving alliance agenda (SOTUS).
In his SOTUS report chapter "Re-engage the United States in global health security," Professor Kamradt-Scott writes that Australia should take the lead on discussions for a "joint regional health security initiative", and put forward vaccine production and distribution in the region as an immediate area for collaboration.
Ms Steward provided similar recommendations in her SOTUS contribution on "Enhancing health cooperation in Southeast Asia and the Pacific", suggesting that pooling resources would help Australia boost its engagement in the region, adding to its $500 million commitment to vaccine distribution in the Indo-Pacific. Ms Steward joined Professor Kamradt-Scott in calls for collaboration, uring Australia and the US to work together to assist in the delivery of routine immunisations that have been disrupted, or to help counter infectious-diseases at risk of re-emergence.