Canada announces additional support for equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines

News release

December 14, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound global impact, with its wide-reaching effects amplified for vulnerable populations both in Canada and around the world. This virus will not be fully eradicated until it’s eradicated everywhere. That is why Canada is committed to a robust global effort to end the pandemic and address its devastating health, social, economic and security impacts. Canada continues to do its part to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today announced a contribution of $230 million to procure COVID-19 treatments for developing countries in response to urgent priorities identified by the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, launched by the World Health Organization and partners. This contribution will help to minimize deaths and severe illness from COVID-19, as well as alleviate the burden of the pandemic on already-stretched health systems.

Canada’s contribution will enable UNICEF to procure up to 3 million courses of novel COVID-19 antibody therapeutics as soon as clinical trials and regulatory approvals have been completed. The initiative builds on the important work done with the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to secure manufacturing capacity for novel antibody therapeutics production dedicated to developing countries.

Minister Gould also announced that Canada will invest $255 million in additional support for the ACT-Accelerator for the effective deployment of medical solutions against COVID-19 in developing and vulnerable countries. This will be achieved through focused investments with the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for the development, delivery and distribution of vaccines and therapeutics, including targeted support to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Canada’s contribution to Gavi will include an investment in the development of a mechanism to equitably reallocate vaccine doses through the COVAX Facility, either by donation or exchange.

Canada’s support could also include support to train front-line health-care workers to administer COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, to plan and execute mass vaccination campaigns and to procure supplies essential to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, such as syringes or personal protective equipment.

Today’s investment of $485 million will reinforce the work of key partners of the ACT-Accelerator. It will build on Canada’s commitment to increase global equitable access to COVID-19 medical countermeasures by helping to strengthen health systems in developing countries for the effective deployment and use of new vaccines and therapies. 


“The faster we can get tests, treatments and vaccines out to people, the sooner this pandemic can be contained. Canada’s support of global efforts to find successful medical solutions is a win for all.”

- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development

Quick facts

  • With today’s announcement of $485 million in support, Canada has contributed $865 million to date to partners of the ACT-Accelerator, a coalition of international organizations and countries overseeing the development, production and equitable distribution of affordable COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. 

  • On June 27, 2020, Canada announced $120 million in support to the ACT-Accelerator. In addition to the $20 million allocated at the time to CEPI, the Government of Canada has now allocated $65 million to the Global Fund for the urgent procurement and deployment of 10 million rapid diagnostic tests for use in developing countries. Additionally, $20 million has been allocated to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and $15 million to Unitaid to support their critical work in the diagnostics and therapeutics pillars of the ACT-Accelerator.

  • In addition to this international support for novel therapeutics, the Government of Canada has signed an agreement with Eli Lilly for an initial order of up to 26,000 doses of their COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) for domestic use.

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Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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