Canada’s auditor general says the government has an oversupply of COVID-19 vaccines and most of them are likely to expire and go to waste at the end of the year.
Karen Hogan’s team investigated how well the federal government did getting ahold of COVID-19 vaccine doses and tracking how many people got them.
The auditor gave the Public Health Agency of Canada and Procurement Canada a thumbs up when it came to quickly getting enough doses into the country to meet vaccination goals, but the government did a much poorer job of managing that supply.
She says the government knew that by signing advanced purchase agreements with several pharmaceutical companies there was a risk of buying up more COVID-19 vaccines than were needed for Canadians.
The federal government announced plans to donate some 50 million surplus doses to other countries, but as of May 31, only about 15 million had been given away.
In her report, the auditor says the federal and provincial governments failed to share their data, which made it difficult to track vaccine surplus and waste once the doses were sent to provinces and territories.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2022.