Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Almost three dozen Canadian aid groups, faith-based organizations and global development advocates say Canada needs to donate some COVID-19 doses to a global vaccine alliance immediately. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

U.S. shares vaccines, including with Canada, as Ottawa pushed to give doses to COVAX

U.S. shares vaccines, including with Canada, as Ottawa pushed to give doses to COVAX

OTTAWA — The United States unveiled details of its first global donations of COVID-19 vaccines Thursday, with plans to ship 19 million doses through the COVAX vaccine-sharing alliance and another six million doses directly to neighbours, including Canada, as well as countries experiencing pandemic surges.

The offer comes as Canada’s vaccine rollout is nearing the best in the world, and at the same time as pressure is mounting on the Canadian government to start sharing some of its COVID-19 vaccines as well.

The United States has been heavily criticized for vaccine hoarding, as the second-biggest manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines in the world, but until recently, refusing to allow any doses to be exported.

The first shipment of 25 million doses will include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Another 60 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca will be donated once a quality review check is completed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Canada isn’t producing any COVID-19 vaccines of its own, but has also been criticized for not sharing any doses of imported vaccines.

“By August, Canada will have enough to fully vaccinate its entire population,” reads a statement signed by 32 agencies and organizations, including the Canadian arms of One, UNICEF, World Vision, the Mennonite Central Committee, Canadian Council of Imams and the Anglican Council of Indigenous People.

The groups joined together Thursday to pressure Canada to donate to COVAX four million doses by the end of June — one-tenth of the doses Canada expects to have delivered by then — and then to donate up to 94 million excess doses by the end of the year.

“Canada has ordered more doses per capita (more than 10) than any other country and therefore has a responsibility to share with the world,” the groups said.

International Development Minister Karina Gould said Canada will share doses eventually but doesn’t have any excess vaccine at the moment because the country is still trying to get every Canadian immunized.

Speaking at a Senate committee Thursday, she said “we’re not quite at the point to announce that yet” but said news on donations could be coming shortly.

As of Thursday, Canada had given one dose to at least 22.4 million people, more than 59 per cent of the entire population. After a slow start with limited deliveries, Canada’s supplies have been flooding in since April, and now sits among the top 10 countries in the world for first doses given, and the top 20 among total doses given.

It is lagging on second doses with a focus on getting a first dose to as many people as possible to start, but that is also starting to change. In the last seven days, more than 520,000 Canadians go their second dose, one in every five shots delivered.

That is double the number and rate of the week before and three times the number given two weeks ago.

Wealthy nations are leaving the rest of the world in their vaccine dust. About two billion doses of vaccine have been administered worldwide, more than eight in 10 of them in wealthy countries, and only 0.2 per cent in low-income nations.

Canada has given 2.5 times as many doses per capita as the global average.

On Wednesday, Canada doubled its financial commitment to $440 million to help COVAX buy doses directly from manufacturers. But Canada and the United Kingdom are the only two G7 countries which bought doses from COVAX as well as donated money to buy doses for lower income nations. They are also the only two not donating doses to it yet.

COVAX said last week it needed donations of 190 million doses to cover a shortfall this month after India stopped exporting vaccines to address a massive outbreak there. About 10 nations have offered up to 181.5 million doses by the end of the year, including the 19 million the U.S. will ship in June.

Dr. Srinivas Murthy, a critical care pediatric specialist in Vancouver with a research focus on pandemic preparedness, said money is needed eventually but there are no doses sitting there to be purchased at the moment because wealthy countries like Canada bought them all.

“It’s vaccines, not money at this point in the pandemic that are required globally,” said Murthy.

— With files from James McCarten in Washington, D.C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2021.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Just Posted

Mental health support centre in central Alberta to receive funding

Shoppers Drug Mart is lending support to the Canadian Mental Health Association.… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer was packed with people who lined the streets to watch the Westerner Days parade on Wednesday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Westerner Days parade cancelled, full details on modified event coming June 28

The 2021 edition of Westerner Days will look much different than any… Continue reading

City council wants to hear from the public at a May 25 hearing about whether the temporary homeless shelter should be allowed to remain in the downtown for another year. (Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer staff to recommend another extension to allow operations at current temporary shelter site

Following some more research city administration has received no other new locations… Continue reading

A scene from the short Western ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws,’ written and directed by Jason Steele, with support from Telus Storyhive. (Contributed image)
Red Deerians make ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws’ short Western film

Writer and director Jason Steele received a $20,000 Storyhive grant from Telus

Residents in several neighbourhoods reported little to no water pressure Tuesday night. (File photo by Advocate staff)
City hall to reopen for payments and customer service

Red Deer City Hall will reopen on June 21 for utility and… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: You can’t trust Mondays

Monday isn’t my favourite day. It insists on occurring right after a… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stops Vegas Golden Knights' William Karlsson as he is covered by Canadiens' Joel Edmundson during first period of Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup semifinal Friday, June 18, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Andreson’s timely scoring, Price’s goaltending give Habs 2-1 series lead over Vegas

Canadiens 3 Golden Knights 2 (OT) (Montreal leads series 2-1) MONTREAL —… Continue reading

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) as he looks for an opening during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday, June 18, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Curry, Harris help 76ers stay alive, hold off Hawks 104-99

76ers 104 Hawks 99 (Series tied 3-3) ATLANTA — Seth Curry hit… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of a two-dose fall is… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, speaks during a press conference in Ottawa, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Mendicino has announced a new policy to help settle 500 refugees and their families in a news conference today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year: Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced plans to expedite applications and increase the… Continue reading

Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa, plays his shot from the third tee during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Bland leads at Torrey and shows the US Open is truly open

SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Open prides itself on being the most… Continue reading

The Prime Minister's car waits outside the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg Tuesday, May 19, 2009. The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is showing no sign he'll release unredacted documents about the firing of two scientists at Canada's highest security laboratory — despite the prospect of being publicly shamed in the House of Commons for his refusal to turn them over. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
PHAC head maintains he’s bound by law not to release docs on fired scientists

OTTAWA — The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant in Canada

OTTAWA — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly… Continue reading

Most Read