Canada is expecting to receive more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses before the end of the first quarter of 2021, through the COVAX facility.
The delivery of the vaccines will be subject to regulatory reviews and vaccine availability, which has seen production disruptions in recent weeks.
The COVAX Facility is coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Gavi. The COVAX Facility pools funds from wealthier countries (like Canada) which provide funding for COVID-19 vaccines for their own populations. The pooled funding is also used to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for low to middle income countries (like the Philippines).
The Government of Canada provided CAD$440 million in funding to the COVAX Facility in September 2020. Half of the funding is being allocated for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccine doses for the Canadian population. The rest of the funding will go be pooled to purchase doses for low to middle income countries.
Nine different vaccine manufacturers are participating in the program.
The Government of Canada is expecting more than 3.2 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June.
The Government of Canada is hoping to vaccinate more than 11 million people by June 2021.
Canada’s COVAX Facility will be distributed to the most vulnerable members of the Canadian population. More than 1 million Canadians have already received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility is in addition to more than 20 million doses the Government of Canada has purchased in a separate agreement made with AstraZeneca.
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been approved for use in Canada, but is expected to be approved shortly.
There are currently only two COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in Canada, from Pfizer and Moderna.
Canada’s AstraZeneca doses from the COVAX Facility will be shipped from South Korea. The European Union has imposed export restrictions on vaccines manufactured at EU facilities, including those of AstraZeneca’s, complicating many countries’ vaccination timelines, including those of Canada.
The COVAX Facility will distribute more than 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines this year.
WHAT IS THE COVAX FACILITY?
The COVAX Facility is a global cooperation aimed at providing safe, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Both the Philippines and Canada are participating in the COVAX Facility.
COVAX is the world’s best hope of ending the COVID-19 pandemic, having the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of vaccines.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, global leaders realized that the world didn’t just need vaccines for just the countries that could afford to pay for them, but also access to countries that couldn’t.
Leaders from around the world called for a way to accelerate the development and manufacture of vaccines that would guarantee fast and fair access for all countries. The result of this global call-to-action is the COVAX Facility.
COVAX is a global solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that countries from all over the world will get access to vaccines when they become available.
COVAX is coordinated by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO.
The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Union (EU) and France. The ACT Accelerator brings governments, international health organizations, pharmaceutical companies, scientists and philanthropists to find innovative ways to provide access to diagnostic tools, treatment and vaccines.
The platform will support research, development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines. Once developed, all participating countries will have access to vaccines.
COVAX aims to have more than 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines available by the end of 2021, enough to protect frontline workers and the most vulnerable members of society.
COVAX will provide lower-income countries, as well as countries with no established contracts with pharmaceutical companies, with access to COVID-19 vaccines once available.
78 self-financing countries and 92 funded countries have so far confirmed their interest in joining the COVX Facility.
WHY THE WORLD NEEDS THE COVAX FACILITY
The world needs COVAX because without it, there’s a real chance that most countries will not be protected against COVID-19.
COVAX will help increase the chances of manufacturing vaccines in enough quantities to end the pandemic, while providing equitable access to countries that would otherwise be unable to afford them.
With more than 170 vaccine candidates currently in development, only 7% of these candidates are likely to move past the preclinical trial stage. Of these, only 20% make it past clinical trials.
COVAX has put together the largest and most diverse portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines, nine of which are currently being evaluated and another nine currently in development.
Countries that are participating in the COVAX Facility will have access to safe and effective vaccines. Self-financing countries will have a guaranteed number of doses, depending on the amount contributed, while funded countries will receive enough doses to vaccinate up to 20% of their population.
Allocation to funded countries will be determined by the amount of vaccines manufactured, and will increase as more supply is made available.
Gavi has also created the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) which will provide further support to lower-income countries. Separate from the COVAX Facility, the COVAX AMC is funded through Official Development Assistance (ODA) and private contributions.
The COVAX AMC has so far raised USD700 million of its USD2 billion target.
HOW WILL VACCINES BE DISTRIBUTED
After successfully completing clinical trials and receiving regulatory approval, vaccines will be allocated to both self-financing and funded countries at the same rate, proportional to their total population.
For more information about the COVAX Facility, click here.
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