Canada to donate 10M vaccine doses to developing nations

Canada to donate 10M vaccine doses to developing nations

Donation badly needed, with only 2% of population vaccinated in poorer countries

By Barry Ellsworth

TRENTON, Canada (AA) - Canada will donate 10 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine to the COVAX sharing alliance for low-and middle-income countries, the government announced Thursday.

“Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 continues to be the best strategy to end the pandemic," Canada's Minister of International development, Karina Gould, said in a media briefing.

"With every vaccination, we are one step closer to bringing this pandemic under control. Together with Canada’s contributions and the generosity of Canadians, we can get COVID-19 under control,” Gould said.

The donation involves supplies of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine which were not needed in Canada.

"This donation is on top of the $2.5 billion in financial support that Canada has committed to international efforts to combat COVID-19, and Canada's support for the developing world will continue going forward," said Procurement Minister Anita Anand, who made the announcement along with Gould.

COVAX is the abbreviation for the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access initiative directed by various agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO).

Public health officials have urged rich countries to donate more vaccines as the virus spreads and there is concern over the development of virus variants as well, and those could spread to other nations.

"Around the world, millions are still unvaccinated and unprotected against COVID-19, and in low-income countries, only two per cent of the population has received one dose," Gould said.

Canada has now donated 40 million doses to COVAX, Gould said, and more may be forthcoming.

“Canadian doses that are identified as surplus will be donated to international partners on an ongoing basis," Anand said.

COVAX is on track to deliver more than 1.8 billion doses of vaccines by the end of the year to poorer countries, Global Affairs Canada, a government department, said in a statement.

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