On Wednesday, the CEO of Gavi, one of the organizations that helps manage Covax, was asked whether it was helpful that many rich countries did not choose to take vaccines from the first batch that would be distributed. Of course it helps, ”said Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “This means there are more doses available for others.”
The supply through Covax – which is not final and subject to manufacturing and logistical delays – represents a batch of the six million doses that Canada had already expected from Pfizer and Moderna before the end of March.
Despite maintaining large supplies, Canada has struggled to launch its vaccination program. Unlike other rich countries, it does not have a fully developed domestic production capacity and depends on shipments from abroad.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his country will vaccinate its population by September, but has so far only managed to reach 2.5% of people, raising doubts that it will reach its target before 2022.
“Compared to other OECD countries, Canada is the lowest in terms of vaccinations per 100,000,” said Ronald La Ponte, a former Canadian head of research in globalization and health equity at the University of Ottawa.
“Do I criticize Canada for engaging in vaccine nationalism in the beginning? Yes, but I will do that too with all the countries that have followed suit since then … We have gone from vaccine nationalism to a vaccine race.”
Research released last week predicted that most low-income countries will not have adequate supplies of vaccines Until at least 2024By then, most rich and middle-income countries may have reached close to full vaccination.
The delay will slow the global economic recovery from the crisis and increase the opportunity for new variables to emerge that overcome immunity caused by vaccines: