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Pressure mounts on Canada to donate COVID-19 vaccine doses to COVAX now

Last Updated Jun 3, 2021 at 8:47 am PDT

OTTAWA — 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 groups, including the Canadian arms of One, UNICEF, World Vision, the Mennonite Central Committee, Canadian Council of Imams and the Anglican Council of Indigenous People, say Canada will have almost 100 million excess doses by the end of the year and needs to start sharing some of them now.

International Development Minister Karina Gould says 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.

On Wednesday, Canada doubled its financial commitment to $440 million to help the global vaccine sharing alliance known as COVAX buy doses directly from manufacturers.

Several countries however have also pledged to send doses to COVAX, including 30 million each Japan, France and Germany, 15 million from Spain and four million from Belgium.

Canada has administered more doses per capita than any of those countries and the organizations are calling on Ottawa to immediately share one dose for every 10 Canadians already vaccinated.

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

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press