Canada the only G7 country to take vaccines from fund that helps developing countries
Canada is the only G7 country to draw on a supply of COVID-19 vaccines meant primarily for developing countries, according to new data released Wednesday.
The COVAX program, co-ordinated by the World Health Organization and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, pools funds from wealthier countries to buy vaccines for themselves and for 92 low- and middle-income nations that can’t afford to buy on their own.
Other wealthy countries on the list receiving the vaccines include New Zealand and Singapore
“We’re seeing richer nations taking a lot of supplies from different mechanisms, while a lot of health-care workers in poorer parts of the world are not getting vaccinated. Is that fair and just? No, it isn’t.”
Jason Nickerson, humanitarian affairs adviser at Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), said there is a danger that Canada’s use of COVAX could contribute to global health inequities.
“If we’re using COVAX doses – which could otherwise be used to vaccinate high-risk people in low-income countries – to vaccinate low-risk people in Canada, I don’t think that’s a defensible position,” Mr. Nickerson said.
For many poorer countries, COVAX will be the main source of vaccines. Most have not received any vaccines so far. In Africa, for example, only about 230,000 vaccines have been administered so far – only about 0.2 per cent of the number of vaccinations globally.