Canada announces new contribution to global vaccination efforts and launch of matching fund with UNICEF Canada
July 12, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 is our best chance of ending this pandemic. The government and Canadians can make a difference together by helping to ensure that life-saving COVID-19 vaccines reach people in developing countries, humanitarian and conflict situations.
The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, and the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, today announced that the Government of Canada will donate an additional 17.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, procured by Canada with an advance purchase agreement, to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX).
The doses will be managed by the newly-funded COVAX Dose Sharing mechanism that is serving as the platform to share doses via COVAX. This contribution is possible because of the government’s proactive approach to secure a supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses, meeting Canada’s needs.
The Ministers also announced that the Government of Canada will match, dollar for dollar, donations made by individual Canadians to UNICEF Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination fundraising campaign, up to a maximum of $10 million.
The matching fund campaign, called “Give A Vax,” will run to September 6, 2021. Canadians who want to donate to UNICEF Canada’s fundraising campaign can do so by going to www.unicef.ca/giveavax or by texting VACCINES to 45678 to donate $10.
A fully funded matching fund campaign would cover the vaccination costs of approximately 4 million people. Funds will enable UNICEF to cover the per-person cost to transport vaccines to destination countries, keep vaccines viable by protecting the cold chain during the journey, and training health care workers to effectively administer the vaccines and safely dispose of needles and waste.
UNICEF International is a key procurement and delivery partner for COVAX – the vaccine pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator – and, collectively, these organizations are undertaking the world’s largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in human history. The sharing of additional doses, alongside contributions to UNICEF Canada’s fundraising campaign will support these efforts and ensure that no vaccine dose goes to waste.
Today’s announcement builds on Canada’s global efforts to fight COVID-19 around the world. Since the start of this crisis, the Government of Canada has committed more than $2.5 billion to support the global response to COVID-19.
“Canadians have shown time and again how generous they can be in times of need. I encourage everyone to donate to UNICEF Canada’s fundraising campaign to help front-line workers and vulnerable communities in developing countries access life-saving vaccines. Let’s do this Canada! It’s your turn to #GiveAVax.”
- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development
“With nearly 55 million doses in Canada and millions more arriving weekly, we continue to ensure that the needs of Canadians for COVID-19 vaccines are met. In addition, as we are now able to donate excess vaccines, the contribution to COVAX of close to 18 million doses will help to meet international needs and end this pandemic.”
- Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
“Time is ticking. Getting more COVID-19 vaccines into people’s arms now is critical to resuming life-saving programs for children and protecting us all from future variants. UNICEF Canada looks forward to partnering with the Government of Canada to ensure that no country is left behind when it comes to access to COVID-19 vaccines. We are urgently calling on Canadians to #GiveAVax and help us with the monumental task of delivering 2 billion doses of vaccines to people around the globe, including in some of the world’s hardest-to-reach places.”
- David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada
As announced by the Prime Minister at the G7 Summit on June 13, 2021, Canada made an initial commitment to share 13 million doses via COVAX. Canada is now sharing an additional 17.7 million doses. These doses, distributed via the COVAX AMC, will help accelerate deliveries to low and lower middle-income countries in the Caribbean and Latin America, while also helping priority countries in other regions.
The distribution of the 17.7 million AstraZeneca vaccines is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
Currently, the COVAX Facility has an active portfolio, with advance purchase agreements for nine vaccine candidates and are on track to deliver over 1.8 billion doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine worldwide by the end of the year. The goal is to have equitable access to 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.
Canada has made significant investments in the ACT-Accelerator, to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics are affordable and equitably distributed globally. Since February 2020, Canada has committed $1.3 billion to the ACT-Accelerator, with $545 million specifically allocated to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), for the global procurement of vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.
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