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Canada only delivered a quarter of promised vaccine doses to less wealthy countries | Coronavirus

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In 2021, Canada had pledged to donate 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from its own contracts with manufacturers and pay for at least 150 million more through financial contributions to the system. sharing of COVAX vaccines.

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

COVAX has said it cannot release details of the doses purchased as it is still negotiating prices with vaccine manufacturers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada keep doing more than its share, but since no vaccine is currently manufactured in Canada, there is little the country can do to speed up donations.

Adam Houston, of Doctors Without Borders Canada, noted that Ottawa was very good at requiring faster deliveries when doses were destined for Canadians, but did not appear to be putting the same pressure on manufacturers to speed up deliveries. when they are intended for donations.

Canada’s pledge was that all doses and all cash donations would be delivered by the end of 2022, but this pledge has been criticized in particular by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said countries like Canada accumulate vaccines to the detriment of poorer countries.

Ending health inequalities remains key to ending the pandemicMr Tedros said at the end of December.

36 countries have vaccinated less than 10% of their population

He also pointed out that Canada kept more than 10 million doses in federal stockpile for months, and almost as many in freezers, instead of shipping them to places where they could have been used immediately.

These doses could have saved lives months ago, said Adam Houston.

Canada only used this stock in December, when Omicron struck and the recall campaign was launched. However, it had already signed contracts with Pfizer and Moderna for the delivery of 65 million and 35 million booster doses respectively in 2022, and is yet to have at least 17 million doses from its 2021 contracts with Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. The country has decided not to use these.

The COVAX system hoped to deliver 2 billion doses to low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2021, but had to manage half of the doses due to slow donations from rich countries and delays in delivery from manufacturers. vaccines.

WHO’s goal was to immunize at least 40% of each country’s population by December 31, but more than 90 states fell short of the target. Some 36 countries have not even reached 10%. The new target is to reach 70% by July.

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