News that a COVID-19 vaccine is heading for testing is to be welcome, but the impact of the past 12 months will take more than a needle to cure.
The 1918 flu pandemic triggered what was referred to as a set of "mutually exacerbating catastrophes", and today we are seeing a similar pattern emerge, particularly in the developing world.
The secondary impacts of the pandemic are profound and widespread and have, in the words of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, set developing countries back "25 years in just 25 weeks".
After 20 years of uninterrupted progress on most poverty-related indicators, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed an additional 37 million people into extreme poverty with the impacts being felt most acutely by women and girls.
Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools in the history of public health, but this year, many large-scale vaccine programs around the world have been cancelled or delayed.
As a result, we will see a rise in measles, tetanus, and possibly the return of polio.
We know from history that newborns die when health systems falter.
As COVID-19 has gripped country after country, essential health services have been diverted and pregnant women and their babies are often without access to the care and oversight that reduces the chances of child and maternal mortality.
Due to the pandemic, 1.3 billion children globally are not able to access school - and the vast majority of them have no chance to access remote web-based learning.
We know from the history of Ebola that when girls stop attending school, they often do not return, permanently reducing their future life chances and the economic horizons of their families and communities.
As a human rights advocate, I am used to heavily critiquing governments, but when it comes to responding to this humanitarian catastrophe the Morrison government has this year largely delivered.
In the international aid and development sector, we have been calling for federal government investment of $2 billion over the next four years to support the Asia-Pacific region in both responding to and recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.
To put this number in context, it represents under one percent of our domestic COVID-19 spend. These funds are urgently needed for PPE, testing kits and to support the equitable roll out of a vaccine.
In the virtual UN General Assembly in September, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that "It's a moral responsibility for a vaccine to be shared far and wide".
To its credit, the coalition government has backed these words by committing approximately $1.3 billion to support our neighbours in this time of acute need.
This money will go towards global programs to ensure vaccines are available to poorer countries in a timely and affordable manner, addressing flow-on economic impacts and, criticially, in supporting economic recovery.
This support will be a vital step in helping our neighbours recover from COVID-19 and its multiple impacts.
Negaya Chorley is chief executive of RESULTS International (Australia).