Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to developing countries

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged 13 million surplus vaccines to help the world get immunized against COVID-19 as he and other G7 leaders wrapped up a weekend summit in Britain dominated by the pandemic, climate change and China.

Canada previously said it would offer up to 100 million vaccine doses to help poorer countries beat back the global pandemic, but was the only country from the G7 to not say how many of those would be actual shots rather than money.

Trudeau on Sunday said in addition to the 13 million shots it deemed as surplus, Canada paid for the purchase and distribution of 87 million doses through money already sent to the ACT-Accelerator, a global program to make sure the entire world has access to COVID-19 testing, treatments and vaccines.

The prime minister told reporters during a closing news conference that some of the promised jabs are already on their way to countries lagging wealthy nations in the worldwide immunization effort. But he stopped short of saying when the rest would arrive.

“A number of these doses are on their way as we speak, more will come in the coming months,” Trudeau said. “We’re going to be able to share around the world as we see Canadians getting vaccinated to higher and higher levels, and we simply do not need those doses.”

The Prime Minister’s Office later provided a breakdown showing more than seven million of the doses being donated are from pharmaceutical firm Novavax, whose vaccine remains in clinical trials and has yet to be approved for use in Canada.

The Prime Minister’s Office later provided a breakdown showing more than seven million of the doses being donated are from pharmaceutical firm Novavax, whose vaccine remains in clinical trials and has yet to be approved for use in Canada.

The remainder are Oxford-AstraZeneca doses and shots from Johnson & Johnson that Canada bought through COVAX, an international vaccine sharing initiative.