Canada has decided to provide approximately 18 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine at the Covax distribution center.
The decision is partly aimed at addressing shortages caused by the failure of Indian Covid producers to meet that supply due to domestic demand during the second devastating wave of the disease.
Canada’s decision to provide Covax with AZ injections, however, has been criticized at home political rallies as concerns about safety have led to a reduction in the use of shame in the country.
Purchased by Canada through a pre-purchase agreement, 17.7 million AZ doses will be sent directly to the Covax global vaccine distribution center. Karina Gould, the Minister for International Development, and Anita Anand, the Minister for Public Works and Procurement, made the announcement on Monday.
Vaccination volumes “will be governed by the newly-funded Covax funding,” a statement issued by Global Affairs Canada.
Anand said, “With about 55 million doses in Canada and an additional million arriving every week, we continue to ensure that the needs of Canadians for Covid-19 vaccines are met. In addition, now that we are able to donate over-the-counter vaccines, a donation to Covax of around 18 million doses will help meet international needs and end the epidemic. ”
Gould told CBC News that the shipment would begin in a few weeks and pointed out that it was an attempt to make up for the shortage caused by Indian manufacturers who could not meet the foreign demand.
He said, “One of the reasons why Covax is struggling is because AstraZeneca is one of the most widely used vaccines in India and is currently widely used in India.”
The decision to donate AZ doses has come under fire, as opposition Parliamentary Garnett Genius has said the Canadian government should not send “non-Canadian” vaccines, according to CBC News.
Canadian health authorities routinely exclude people from the AZ vaccine and call mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna “popular” guns.
Health Canada, however, went on to emphasize that AZ is a safe vaccine and Gould resisted criticism by stating that it was “the vaccine of your choice”, “the best vaccine” and “the most needed in the world”.