Canadian Manufacturing

Canada mulls global vaccine contribution as Trump turns back on alliance

International Development Minister says the government is working on the details of a spending commitment

September 3, 2020  The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Canada is still considering a contribution to the international vaccine coalition known as COVAX, which aims to equitably distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to poorer countries that can’t afford one.

The decision stands in contrast to Sept. 1’s decision by the Trump administration in the US to opt out of the alliance of more than 150 countries because the program is linked to the World Health Organization.

President Donald Trump ended US funding to the WHO in July because he says it is being unduly influenced by China and needs to be reformed.

A spokesman for Karina Gould, Canada’s International Development Minister, says the Trudeau government is working on the details of a spending commitment to what’s called the “COVAX Facility,” which is designed to ensure developing countries have fair access to a COVID-19 cure.

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COVAX also allows investing countries to be given early access for up to 20% of their populations.

The initiative is aimed at circumventing so-called vaccine nationalism – the scramble by individual countries to secure vaccines for their own populations, often by pre-buying doses directly from pharmaceutical companies.