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Updated July 13th, 2021 at 21:21 IST

Canada to donate 17.7 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries in need

In an attempt to promote global vaccination, the Canadian administration has said that it will donate 17.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

Riya Baibhawi
Canada
Image: AP | Image:self
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In an attempt to promote global vaccination, the Canadian administration has said that it will donate 17.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to lower and middle eastern countries. Addressing a press conference, the country’s procurement minister Anita Anand said that the distribution of shots would take place through World Health Organisation’s COVAX scheme, which aims to increase global vaccine accessibility. As per the lawmaker, all the vaccine shots would be acquired through Ottawa's advance purchase agreements. 

"This donation is a result of our proactive approach to securing hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccines in our initial contracts. With close to 55 million vaccines in Canada, and with the demands of the provinces and territories for this vaccine being met, we are now in a position to donate these excess doses," Anand said.

Vaccine donation campaign

In addendum, the Justin Trudeau administration, in collaboration with UNICEF has also commenced a campaign to encourage vaccine donations amongst citizens. As a part of the campaign, all the residents are encouraged to donate vaccine doses by contributing C$10. All donations will be then matched by the federal government, up to a maximum of C$10 million. 

Since the outbreak, the county has recorded over 1,421,108 cases, out of whom 26,438 have died. In the latest development, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said that his country has no plans to reopen its borders for the unvaccinated tourists in the foreseeable future because the coronavirus pandemic is not over yet. The North American country has registered a total of 1,419,196 cases with 26,405 fatalities and 1,387,265 recoveries. Noting the same, Trudeau asserted that they would have to be “careful” and “vigilant”. 

Canada has eased some restrictions in recent times including a quarantine waiver for permanent residents and Canadian citizens. However, international tourists, even if fully vaccinated against COVID, are not allowed to enter the country. But recently, officials said that the restriction could come to an end. "We are going to make sure we are moving forward on that in the coming weeks," Trudeau said without revealing a timeline for the same. 

Image: AP

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Published July 13th, 2021 at 21:21 IST

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