Canada is considering sending more money or ancillary vaccine supplies to the COVAX global vaccine sharing alliance after a plea from the organizers that it was running out of cash.
COVAX celebrated delivering its one billionth dose in mid-January and one-third of the population in the countries reliant on COVAX for their vaccines is now fully vaccinated.
Seth Berkley, the CEO of the Gavi vaccine alliance helping run COVAX, is hopeful that bigger vaccine supplies in 2022 will help meet the World Health Organization target to get 70 per cent of the population in every country fully vaccinated by the end of June.
But Berkley says COVAX can’t accept any more donations of doses unless it also gets more cash to buy syringes and other supplies needed to get those doses into arms.
A spokesman for International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan says he planned to reach out to COVAX to see how Canada could help.
Canada has committed $545 million to help COVAX thus far, but the alliance is seeking another US$5.2 billion in 2022 and has only raised about US$200 million toward that so far.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2022.