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Canada's vaccine donations to COVAX to come only from its COVAX supply: Gould

Last Updated Jun 14, 2021 at 10:33 am PDT

Karina Gould, Minister of International Development holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, regarding the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 to the World Food Programme. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — International Development Minister Karina Gould confirms none of the 13 million doses Canada is currently promising to donate to COVAX will come from supplies procured directly from vaccine manufacturers.

Canada has contracts to buy more than 251 million doses of seven different vaccines from vaccine makers, more than three times what it needs to fully immunize every Canadian.

But the doses Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday will be donated to COVAX are only those Canada was buying from the global vaccine sharing alliance itself.

Canada says COVAX should be able to buy another 87 million doses using the $575 million Canada contributed to it in cash.

Gould says Canada will be donating more of its directly purchased vaccines but not until we have both received enough doses to vaccinate all Canadians, and we have the excess doses in hand.

NDP health critic Don Davies says Canada should be embarrassed that its so-called “generous contribution” to help get the world vaccinated is money for doses that aren’t available to purchase and 13 million doses we never should have been taking in the first place.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2021.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press