April 14th, 2021

Gould says COVAX clearly working, as vaccine-sharing program reaches 100 countries


By Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press on April 8, 2021.

A man receives a dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and provided through the global COVAX initiative, at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Brian Inganga

OTTAWA – The international vaccine-sharing program known as COVAX says it has reached 100 countries with vaccines as of today but many of the world’s poorest nations have still not been able to receive a single dose.

More than 60 of the 100 countries are low- and middle-income nations for whom COVAX is the main, if not only, supply of vaccines.

But about 30 other modest-income countries are still waiting, some because they are not yet ready to start vaccinations.

Canada, which has been widely criticized for taking doses from COVAX even though that’s how the program was designed, received its first 316,800 doses from the program this morning.

International Development Minister Karina Gould says it’s a huge milestone and a sign the system is succeeding, even if it’s not perfect.

Gould says without COVAX many of the world’s poorest countries would not have vaccines at all, adding Canada is committed to giving doses back after completing its vaccination program.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2021.

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