Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine supply and donation strategy

Thanks to a robust vaccine supply strategy, Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Our supply strategy also accounted for the potential to donate surplus doses to other countries in need, helping to vaccinate people around the world.

On this page

Procuring vaccines for Canada

When the pandemic started, it was not known which vaccines would be successful or when they would be available. Experts therefore advised Canada to secure many different types of vaccines.

To secure early access to safe and effective vaccines for everyone in the country, we set up advance purchase agreements (APAs) with 7 manufacturers:

APAs have the obligations of a contract but are more flexible in structure. This flexibility was needed given the uncertainties around when new vaccines would be developed. Having APAs meant that we could purchase vaccines that didn't yet exist.

The agreements with the vaccine manufacturers also required initial investments to support vaccine research and development, testing and manufacturing.

By signing memorandums of understanding with international sources, Canada was also able to access an early supply of the first vaccines available. We also looked for ways to secure quicker deliveries of approved vaccines.

Canada worked closely with stakeholders at all levels of government to ensure the timely delivery of millions of vaccine doses throughout Canada. Canada's COVID-19 vaccine roll-out succeeded in delivering doses to the Canadian population, including deliveries to rural, remote and isolated communities.

We continue to make sure that Canada is prepared to manage COVID-19 and its possible evolutions. Canada has secured vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax for 2023 and beyond, including options to purchase additional doses if they're needed.

These agreements also provide flexibility to obtain new generation COVID-19 vaccines, that are developed by vaccine suppliers to protect against mutations or variants of concern, once they're authorized for use by Health Canada.

All vaccines require Health Canada authorization before they're used to vaccinate anyone in Canada.

Managing Canada's supply

Canada's COVID-19 vaccine supply is managed strategically based on:

To maximize the use of Canada's vaccine supply, we also:

This approach ensures that we have enough vaccine supply for people in Canada to stay up to date on their vaccines, including boosters. It also ensures that Canada has sufficient supply in country to mobilize a large-scale vaccination campaign if needed. And it enables us to provide vaccines to other countries in need around the world.

Despite all of these efforts, there will be wastage if doses expire before they're used or donated. Expired doses will be disposed of in accordance with appropriate handling and storage guidelines.

Doses distributed in Canada

Canada's role in helping to vaccinate the world

Canada recognizes that providing access to vaccination continues to be one of the most effective ways of controlling the virus.

That's why, as the world moves beyond the pandemic response, we remain committed to helping low- and middle-income countries strengthen their health systems and their ability to prepare for a future pandemic. This is a critical part of an inclusive and sustainable recovery.

Canada also supported, and continues to support, the most vulnerable populations. For example, as a part of Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy, during the acute phase of the pandemic, we focus on supporting:

Promoting vaccine equity

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada committed over $3.5 billion in international assistance. This included over $1.2 billion to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator vaccines pillar.

We also supported equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines by:

Canada originally committed to donating the equivalent of 200 million doses by the end of 2022. We exceeded this commitment, donating the equivalent of over 201 million doses, a significant contribution that helped meet country demand for vaccines. This donation included 46.6 million doses deemed surplus from Canada's domestic supply and donated to COVAX, as well as more than 3.7 million doses donated directly to countries through bilateral agreements.

Canada also provided financial contributions to COVAX towards the purchase of the equivalent of 150.7 million vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency of international concern. However, Canada continues, via the Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE), to support efforts by countries to:

CanGIVE, our $317-million signature initiative, strengthens health systems and builds vaccine manufacturing capacity in 12 focus countries, most of them in Africa.

The COVAX Facility

Canada was a leading donor to the COVAX Facility to help low- and lower middle-income countries have equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Canada contributed over $840 million to the facility to help procure, distribute and deliver vaccines for Advance Market Commitment (AMC) countries. This also includes up to $10 million to design and help implement a system for sharing more than 922 million donated doses through the facility.
The facility closed on December 31, 2023, and operations have shifted to:

Low- and lower middle-income countries will continue to receive COVID-19 vaccines and delivery support from Gavi and the alliance in 2024 and 2025.

Canada's international vaccine distribution

The following table shows the countries that received surplus doses donated by Canada, either through COVAX or through bilateral agreements. As of February 28, 2023, over 25 million of the doses Canada donated to COVAX had been delivered to countries. The table only accounts for Canada's surplus vaccine doses. It does not include dose equivalents resulting from our financial contribution to COVAX.

Filter options

Use filters to below options to change the focus of your results in following data table

Country Number of doses shipped Date delivered Vaccine manufacturer Mechanism Shipped from
El Salvador 20,000 2022-12-15 Moderna COVAX Canada
Tanzania 1,413,650 2022-11-08 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Mali 201,550 2022-10-28 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Zambia 950,350 2022-06-30 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Liberia 302,400 2022-05-24 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Ghana 309,600 2022-03-14 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Liberia 295,200 2022-06-01 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Jamaica 100,000 2022-02-22 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Uganda 433,300 2022-02-16 Moderna COVAX Canada
Mozambique 1,168,800 2022-02-11 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Mauritania 201,600 2022-02-07 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Yemen 100,800 2022-02-01 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Rwanda 477,680 2021-12-21 Moderna COVAX Canada
Bangladesh 2,203,100 2021-12-19 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Egypt 841,260 2021-12-14 Moderna COVAX Canada
Equatorial Guinea 60,000 2022-06-01 Moderna COVAX Canada
Rwanda 1,602,160 2021-11-18 Moderna COVAX Canada
Nepal 368,100 2021-11-15 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Uganda 1,904,140 2021-11-13 Moderna COVAX Canada
Nicaragua 326,400 2021-11-09 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Angola 326,400 2021-11-02 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Jamaica 369,600 2021-11-01 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Egypt 784,280 2021-10-31 Moderna COVAX Canada
Argentina 549,600 2021-09-27 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Jamaica 100,800 2021-09-13 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Guatemala 363,100 2021-09-05 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Costa Rica 319,200 2021-09-02 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Kenya 459,300 2021-09-02 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Niger 100,800 2021-09-02 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Nigeria 801,600 2021-09-02 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Madagascar 21,600 2022-03-25 AstraZeneca COVAX Manufacturer
Peru 35,100 2021-09-02 AstraZeneca Bilateral agreement Canada
Barbados 30,000 2021-09-01 AstraZeneca Bilateral agreement Canada
Ecuador 394,950 2021-08-27 AstraZeneca Bilateral agreement Canada
Jamaica 200,000 2021-08-26 AstraZeneca Bilateral agreement Canada
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 20,000 2021-08-24 AstraZeneca Bilateral agreement Canada
Trinidad and Tobago 82,030 2021-08-04 AstraZeneca Bilateral agreement Canada
Mexico 3,001,050 2022-07-28 Pfizer Bilateral agreement Canada
Tanzania 1,360,800 2022-08-01 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Nigeria 2,649,600 2022-08-01 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Burkina Faso 672,000 2022-08-19 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Guyana 28,800 2022-08-19 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Haiti 180,000 2022-08-22 Moderna COVAX Canada
Kenya 100,000 2022-08-31 Moderna COVAX Canada
Zambia 911,900 2022-09-05 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Kenya 100,000 2022-10-05 Moderna COVAX Canada
Kenya 300,000 2022-11-09 Moderna COVAX Canada
Niger 604,800 2022-09-18 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer
Vietnam 300,000 2022-10-22 Moderna COVAX Canada
Uzbekistan 419,950 2022-10-30 Janssen COVAX Manufacturer

Page details

Date modified: