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Canadian entitlement

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The Lancet published a story June 19 about the flaws in COVAX, the mechanism intended to ensure the equitable distribution of Covid vaccines between rich countries and the rest. One year on, this initiative has been a dismal failure. According to one of the stats in the story, the G7 club of rich nations will achieve full vaccinations within the next six months, while at present rates, full vaccination in poorer countries will take another 57 years!

Canada gets special attention, and it’s not for our altruism or our famous “feminist foreign policy.”

Although Gavi has produced numerous press releases about deliveries of vaccines to LMICs, starting with the shipment of 600 000 doses of the Oxford University–AstraZeneca vaccine to Ghana on Feb 24, 2021, there was no announcement when Canada was allocated 1·62 million doses of the same vaccine earlier that month, and no fanfare when 500 000 doses of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine were assigned by COVAX to the UK in April.
Oxfam criticised Canada for the delivery, accusing the Government of taking doses from the poor when it has signed bilateral deals with manufacturers for enough vaccine to cover four times the country’s population. “Canada should not be taking the COVAX vaccine from poor nations to alleviate political pressures at home”, Diana Sarosi at Oxfam Canada said. However, strictly speaking, Canada was merely following through on the terms of its agreement with COVAX. Public services and procurement minister Anita Anand said as much when she defended the move in a comment to CBC. Canada is “entitled under our agreement with COVAX to draw down on the commitment that we made with them back in the summer”, she said.
Got it? Oxfam says Canada should not be taking Covid vaccine from poor nations. 
The Liberal cabinet minister on the file fires back; Shut-up, we’re entitled!

Yes, while it may look like vaccine hoarding, it’s actually a simple matter of rich-country entitlement. Nothing to see here…


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