Canada will share any excess vaccine doses, Trudeau says

Montreal (AFP) –

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Canada, which has placed orders and options on more than 400 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, will share any excess doses with other countries once its population is inoculated, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Canada, which launched its vaccination campaign this week, has erred on the side of caution to ensure all of its 38 million people have access to jabs.

"As Canada gets vaccinated, if we have more vaccines than necessary, absolutely we will be sharing with the world," Trudeau said in an interview with CTV, which will be broadcast in full on Sunday.

Addressing reporters on Friday, the prime minister said: "In January, we'll be getting 125,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine per week for a total of about 500,000 doses for the month."

Canada is also expected to receive 200,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine next week and 168,000 doses of Moderna's vaccine before year's end, once it gains regulatory approval from Health Canada.

Canada launched its vaccination campaign on Monday, inoculating nursing home workers and residents in Ontario and Quebec provinces.

The country hopes to vaccinate three million people by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

The World Health Organization and the Gavi vaccine alliance have put in place the COVAX mechanism to ensure that the vaccine reaches developing countries.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday that nearly two billion doses of various vaccine candidates had been secured so far.

In September, Canada invested about Can$220 million (US$172 million) in the COVAX initiative.

So far, Canada has recorded more than 490,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 14,000 deaths.