Pandemic Response Report Card: Canada

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… since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "Only by protecting each other can we protect ourselves. Canada is ready to help lead a coordinated global response which will contribute to overcoming the pandemic"

What’s next?

Canada was an early and vocal supporter of multilateral efforts to scale up access to vaccination in the world’s poorest countries, committing $1.1 billion to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) in 2021.

However, the talk was not always followed by action. Canada over-purchased vaccines — it bought enough to vaccinate each Canadian more than five times. This vaccine hoarding is reducing developing countries’ access to vaccines and undermining global vaccination efforts. And only 28.7% of Canada’s promised doses have been delivered.

Canada has repeatedly emphasized the need for a strong global economic response, promising recently to “finish the global fight against COVID-19.” Increases in development investments in the past two years and a pledge to recycle 20% of Canada’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocation show commitment to deliver needed economic support. But significantly more will be needed in 2022.

In 2022, Canada must:

Share resources. Contribute CAD $1.1 billion to the global pandemic fight, including another $780 million to ACT-Accelerator partners to purchase enough vaccines, tests, treatments, PPR and oxygen in developing countries, plus $325 million for delivery costs such as cold-chain equipment, syringes and training for health care workers.

Share more SDRs with developing countries, deliver quickly on the initial promise of transferring 20% to developing countries, and do this without piling too much unsustainable debt on these countries.

Share doses: Speed-up the delivery of the promised dose to donate, in a predictable manner and with sufficient shelf-life, and avoid over-purchasing and stockpiling doses.

Share knowledge: Support the TRIPS waiver at the WTO, and add ‘COVID-19 vaccine’ to the list of eligible products for export in the Patent Act in accordance with the Canadian Access to Medicines Regime.