Canada offers more money to COVAX while vaccine dose donations stall

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is donating another $220 million to the COVAX global vaccine sharing alliance.

The funds will bring Canada’s total monetary donation to COVAX to about $700 million for the purchase, delivery and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for lower-income nations.

The cash is intended to help Canada make good on its commitment to donate at least 200 million doses by the end of the year, including at least 38 million doses from its own domestic supplies.

Thus far Canada has shipped 14.2 million doses to 19 countries via COVAX and another 762,000 directly to six countries through bilateral vaccine donation agreements.

It says another 87 million doses were purchased by COVAX with Canada’s previous financial donations — but that is based on a formula for the cost per dose developed by the United Kingdom and COVAX itself says it cannot confirm the exact number.

International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a recent interview that Canada won’t ship donated doses until it is certain they can be distributed and used by the recipient country before they expire.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2022.

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