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Canada defends taking vaccines from sharing scheme

Canada defends taking vaccines from sharing scheme

February 5, 2021: Canada has defended its decision to draw coronavirus vaccine supply from a global inoculation-sharing initiative, Covax.

Covax pools funds from wealthier countries to help buy vaccines for themselves and low-income nations.

The scheme has announced a plan to deliver more than 330 million vaccine doses in 2021.

Canada is one and the only member of the rich countries listed as a Covax beneficiary at this stage.

Other wealthier countries, like New Zealand and Singapore, have requested an early allocation.

Low and middle-income countries will be delivered most of the first doses available.

Many of those countries haven’t begun vaccinating yet. While Canada has vaccinated 2.29% of its population with one dose, which includes 48% of health workers, according to the government data.

“Our top priority is to ensure Canadians have access to vaccines,” the international development minister, Karina Gould, said.

“Covax’s objective is to provide vaccines for 20% of the populations of all member states, both self-financing and those who will receive donations, Karina added.

The Canadian government has come under pressure to speed up vaccinations after delays.

Covax works towards the development, purchase, and delivery of vaccines to more than 180 countries.

It released its first vaccine distribution forecast on Wednesday, outlining how many doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines are expected to deliver.

Covax’s forecast said an initial 1.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be sent to Canada.