Canada is expected to announce a donation of up to 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is its share of the one-billion dose pledge that is expected to emerge from all countries attending the G7 summit this weekend.
According to a Canadian government source, the 100 million doses would include previous contributions, such as the $440 million given to the COVAX program, which distributes COVID-19 shots to low- and middle-income countries.
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It’s not yet clear how much of the 100 million doses would be a new contribution, but the official speaking on background said that some of Canada’s surplus doses would be part of the amount.
The source also stressed this donation would not impact the Canadian vaccine rollout, but would not indicate whether surplus doses would be donated to other countries before every Canadian is offered two shots.
“No, Canadians should not be worried about any negative impact within Canada,” Raph Goodale, Canada’s high commissioner to the U.K., said at a G7 summit media conference on Friday.
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“The exact proportions will be – in terms of cash contributions and in-kind contributions – that will be summarized on Sunday. But there will be no negative impact on the vaccination plan for Canadians within Canada.”
Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo on Friday said he believes Canada, “can walk and chew gum at the same time.”
Vaccine deliveries in Canada are “well on track,” Njoo said, and at the same time, government officials are discussing how Canada can donate shots to countries in need.
“It’s not one or the other, it’s both things are happening at the same time,” he added.
More details are promised in an announcement coming by the end of the weekend.
Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden, speaking from the summit with the chief executive of Pfizer by his side, pledged to buy and donate 500 million new doses — half of that total contribution of one billion.
G7 leaders have their first working session Friday afternoon.
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