On Wednesday, the executive director of Gavi, one of the organizations that help manage Covax, was asked if it helped that many affluent countries have not chosen to take vaccines from the first batch that is being distributed. “Of course it helps,” said Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “That means more doses are available for others.”
Covax’s delivery – which is not final and is subject to production and logistical delays – represents an increase in the six million doses Canada expected from Pfizer and Moderna before the end of March.
Despite reserving large supplies, Canada is struggling to get its vaccination program underway. In contrast to other rich countries, it does not have fully developed domestic production capacities and is dependent on supplies from abroad.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country will vaccinate its population by September but has so far managed to reach only 2.5% of the people, raising doubts that it will hit its target before 2022.
“Canada ranks way below other OECD countries when it comes to vaccinations per hundred thousand,” said Ronald Labonté, former Canadian Research Chair on Globalization and Health Justice at the University of Ottawa.
“Would I criticize Canada for starting out with vaccination nationalism? Yes, but I would do the same with any country that has since followed suit … We went from vaccine nationalism to a vaccine race. “
The study published last week predicted that most low-income countries would not have adequate vaccine supplies until at least 2024By this point, most rich and middle income countries may have near-full vaccination.
The delay will slow the global economy’s recovery from the crisis and increase the likelihood that new varieties will emerge that will overcome vaccine-induced immunity: