More than half of Canada’s promised vaccine donations still to come

More than half of Canada’s promised vaccine donations still to come

OTTAWA — Canada has delivered about one-quarter of the direct vaccine doses it has promised to help less wealthy countries and can’t say when more doses will go out the door.

In 2021 Canada promised to donate 50 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from its own contracts and at least 150 million more through financial contributions to the COVAX vaccine sharing alliance.

To date Canada has donated 12.7 million direct doses and $545 million in cash to buy 87 million more.

COVAX says it cannot yet report specifics on the doses purchased because it’s still negotiating prices with vaccine makers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is “continuing to do more than our share” on vaccine donations but because no vaccines are yet made in Canada, there is not much the country can do to speed up donations.

Adam Houston of Doctors Without Borders Canada says Ottawa was great at demanding faster delivery from its contracts when doses were intended for Canadians, but isn’t appearing to put the same pressure on drugmakers to speed up deliveries when they’re intended for donations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press