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 fast access to 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.

Our strategy worked, giving people in Canada early access to safe and effective vaccines. We were among the first countries to start vaccinating and we now have one of the highest coverage rates in the world.

We continue to make sure that Canada is prepared to manage COVID-19 and its possible evolutions. To date, Canada has also secured vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Medicago for 2022 and 2023, with options to extend into 2024.

These agreements provide flexibility to obtain new second-generation COVID-19 vaccines developed by vaccine suppliers once they are 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

We manage our COVID-19 vaccine supply 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

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound global impact, especially on vulnerable populations.

Women and children who already experience poverty, exclusion and/or marginalization more severely are especially impacted. As a part of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, our response includes a particular focus on supporting:

Providing access to vaccination for all peoples is one of the most effective ways of controlling the virus.

Promoting vaccine equity

Canada has committed over $3.4 billion in international assistance in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic. For vaccination, this includes:

Vaccinating the world

Canada is working to ensure the world has access to COVID-19 vaccines by:

We have committed to donating the equivalent of at least 200 million doses to COVAX by the end of 2022. This includes more than 50 million doses deemed surplus from Canada’s domestic procurement. So far, Canada has made available the equivalent of over 100 million doses, with more to come.

How the COVAX Facility Works

Canada is committed to sharing our surplus vaccine supply through the COVAX Facility to ensure an equitable and efficient allocation to the countries who need them most. In some circumstances, we also shared doses directly with recipient countries through bilateral agreements.

The COVAX Facility uses the World Health Organization (WHO)’s fair allocation method to provide all vaccine doses to recipient countries. This ensures that the doses reach the populations who need them most. The Facility communicates directly with countries to confirm they are able to accept and administer doses before they expire. As a donor, Canada is not involved in this allocation process.

Placing surplus doses through the COVAX Facility depends on:

Global vaccine supply increased rapidly in late 2021 and into 2022. The result is that many low- and lower-income countries now have more doses than they can administer before the doses expire. Given this current global imbalance, it’s inevitable there will also be some wastage.

Canada remains committed to support removing barriers to international vaccine distribution so that everyone may be immunized against COVID-19.

Canada’s international vaccine distribution

As of June 2, 2022, over 14.8 million surplus vaccine doses have been delivered through the COVAX Facility. Canada has also shared 762,080 AstraZeneca doses through direct, bilateral arrangements with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The following table shows the countries that have received surplus doses donated by Canada, either through COVAX or through bilateral agreements. The table only accounts for Canada’s surplus vaccine doses. It does not include dose equivalents resulting from Canada’s 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
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 Manufacturer
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
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: