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.

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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 close to $3.5 billion in international assistance in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic. This includes over $1.2 billion to the Access to COVID‑19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator vaccine pillar:

Vaccinating the world

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

Canada continues to work toward its commitment of donating the equivalent of at least 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. So far, we have donated the equivalent of more than 196 million doses. This includes at least 41.5 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 has also provided financial contributions to COVAX towards the purchase of the equivalent of 150.7 million vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries. Canada will fulfill the balance of the commitment through future donations of doses through the COVAX Facility according to country demand.

With vaccine supply no longer the key constraint in combatting COVID-19 around the world, it is now critical to turn vaccines into vaccinations. This is why, on June 22, 2022, Canada announced $200 million in funding for a new signature initiative. Canada's Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE) is designed to support vaccine delivery and distribution, as well as health systems strengthening in 12 countries, most of them in Africa. On January 13, 2023, Minister Sajjan announced additional allocations to CanGIVE, bringing the total value of the program to $275 million. Through CanGIVE, Canada is partnering with UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).

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 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 middle-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

Canada continues to work toward its commitment of donating the equivalent of at least 200 million doses. So far, we have donated the equivalent of more than 196 million doses, including at least 41.5 million doses deemed surplus from Canada's domestic supply. As of December 15, 2022, over 25 million of the doses Canada has donated to COVAX have been delivered to countries.

We have also shared more than 3.76 million vaccine doses through direct, bilateral agreements with countries.

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.

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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
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