CMA, activists call on Canada to speed vaccine access globally to stop new variants


Published February 2, 2022 at 10:31 am

OTTAWA — The Canadian Medical Association and a group of domestic and international activists are calling on the federal government to do more to boost COVID-19 vaccination efforts in less developed countries in order to end the pandemic.

Dr. Katharine Smart, the president of the leading association of Canadian medical professionals, says raising the international vaccination rate is the only way to prevent the rise of new COVID-19 variants that are prolonging the pandemic through an endless cycle of lockdowns and serious illness.

The association was joined by international anti-poverty group the ONE Campaign, as well as the African Canadian Association of Ottawa and others, in calling today on Canada to do more to support COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing alliance.

More than two-thirds of 10 billion vaccine doses administered in the world have gone into arms in high and upper-middle income countries, where more than two-thirds are considered fully vaccinated and one in three have a third dose.

Meanwhile, nine out of 10 people in 28 low-income countries have yet to receive a single dose.

Canada hasn’t sent any new doses to COVAX since Dec. 21, after pledging to deliver 50 million directly along with enough cash for 150 million more by the end of this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2022.

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

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